Allees Meadow

Unlike most of the locations where the Trust carries out work, ALLEE’S MEADOW (off Tunbridge Lane in Bramshott) is also owned by the Trust.
No ‘managed’ water supply survives but the lower areas generally lie fairly wet.

It is a typical upper Wey watermeadow with sloping grassland valley sides – once fed by the watermeadow system – and a more complex ‘ridge-and-furrow’ irrigation layout on the valley floor (now managed as wet meadow).
The irrigation water for the meadow originally came from a sluice three-quarters of a mile upstream: after crossing the London Road, it was carried over the main river on an aqueduct (Radford Aqueduct) and then contouring along the valley side—gaining height relative to the river—before terminating above Bramshott Mill (having travelled more than a mile).

Himalayan Balsam

 

The invasive non-native ‘garden escape’ is a growing problem for us, as it is for many locations on the Wey and elsewhere. The explosive seed heads scatter if cutting is left too late, and they hitch a ride in the river to land and colonise further downstream. Although an annual, the seed persists, and when it grows it suppresses almost everything except brambles—leaving a ‘sterile’ understorey where even when the balsam is (apparently) gone it takes time for the native plants to re-establish.
Where it has been cleared it soon shows regrowth ... and not a lot of competition.

 

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