Reed Planting in Hull Dry Dock

30 Days Wild, day 7: Today I've been volunteering on a rather unusual project, to plant up a reed bed in an old dry dock in Hull. Yorkshire Wildlife Trust have taken on the task, which is part of the development of a new open-air theatre on the site. A huge amphitheatre is under construction over the centre of the dry dock and there will be a reed bed on either side of it. The term 'dry' dock is relative - currently it is an area of thick mud, which gets partly flooded by the tide.

 Dry dock, with the amphitheatre under construction

The day started with the most thorough health and safety briefing I've ever heard. First we got the YWT briefing for our specific task and conditions within the dry dock. Then we had a briefing from the building site foreman on all aspects of working on the building site. We were equipped with hard hats and high-viz jackets, and even buoyancy aids in case the site flooded suddenly (unlikely as the tide was going out!).

 Trays of reeds, ready to plant

Several thousand phragmites reed plants, in trays of ten, had been delivered and left in a compound across the road. We carried them down a steep metal staircase into the dock and then planted them out, roughly two feet apart. We had to stand on boards in the wetter areas, to avoid sinking into the thick mud. Planting is scheduled to take four days and this was day one, so it still has a long way to go, but we made astonishing progress and have planted up the wettest area on the side adjacent to the river Hull.

Progress at the end of the day

https://www.thestage.co.uk/news/2016/hull-to-get-350-seat-open-air-theatre-in-2017/

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