Speaker: Dave Elliott (Lead Ranger: National Trust, South Downs West Area)
Dave spoke to an audience of 60 members.
The Valewood Project, was aimed to increase the biodiversity by natural processes: bringing in Longhorn Cattle and Beavers (a keystone species). Beavers feed on soft vegetation, the cambium layer of tree trunks, shoots and buds of trees. Their nocturnal activity, including felling small trees to provide dam-building material enables more light to reach the stream. Dams slow the water flow and help with any pollution, the water being notably clearer below the dams.
Originally there were two ponds, but now there are more than 12. The Beavers have moved earth, make little canals, created scallops in the stream sides and braided the water course.