Transformation at Mackenzie Bridge, Dean Valley

Rampant ivy has recently been removed from the railings next to Mackenzie Bridge in the Dean Valley by the Natural Heritage rangers. Excellent. Leaves clogging the adjacent pavement, making it impossible to walk along, have been cleared away. Combined with branches being pruned from overhanging lime trees pedestrians are now able to walk along and view down to the river below.

Years of unrestricted ivy growth has curled around the historic railings choking them and causing damage to the cast iron uprights. Ivy has also grown into the stone embankment wall below anchoring into the lime mortar. When ivy becomes established on walls the roots within its structure can regenerate even when all the visible ivy is removed. It thus becomes challenging to stop its regrowth.


What seems an attractive evergreen feature on old walls belies the damage that ivy can have on our built heritage. It has less effect on dressed stone because there are few nooks and crannies for the roots to invade. However on rubble and embankment walls within our landscapes ivy can cause immense damage. The extensive ongoing stone conservation of Lindsays Mill in the Dean village suggests that it is more cost effective for ongoing maintenance.

KT 6th March 2024