The parkland, near Worcester, was purchased by the National Trust in 1996 and work began over the following years to undertake many projects to restore Croome to its former glory.
One of the earlier projects was dredging the river when over 50,000 cubic metres of silt and sludge and thousands of reeds were removed by long reach diggers in two periods in 2003 and 2005.
This summer the reeds grew very quickly and once again clogged the river. As the river isn’t very deep and it doesn’t have the normal flow of a river it becomes blocked easily. It was created by ‘Capability’ Brown in the 1750s and dozens of labourers hand dug the whole length of the river and lake for the new parkland designed for the 6th Earl of Coventry.
Staff and volunteers decided to take the plunge and remove the excess weeds by hand and throughout the summer they cleared a central channel down the river leaving some reeds at its edges. This continues to provide a good habitat for a wide variety of insects such as dragonflies and damselflies, as well as providing good hiding places for many different bird species.
Working in waist high water, they were able to pull the reeds out easily as they aren’t deep rooted. The reeds were left on the river banks to give any wildlife a chance to crawl back into the river.
“During the heat of the summer the job of removing the reeds from the river gave us not only the opportunity to restore the 18th century look of the river, but also to cool off!” said Katherine Alker, Garden and Outdoors Manager.
Wildlife such as ducks, swans and canada geese can now navigate the river and the original aesthetic of the river is restored.
For more information please call: 01905 371006 or visit the website www.nationaltrust.org.uk/croome
Croome is open throughout the year. The park and lakeside are open from 9am until 5.30pm and Croome Court is open from 11am to 4.30pm every day. Normal admission applies.