Norwich river given new lease of life

An improved stretch of the River Yare near Norwich

An improved stretch of the River Yare near Norwich

The partnership scheme between the Environment Agency and the Norwich Fringe Project was designed to improve the river’s habitat, which has suffered in the past due to physical modifications.

The work on the river at Bowthorpe included raising the river bed to create stone glides, which encourages the water to flow faster, thereby helping to encourage a more diverse ecology, including plants, invertebrates and fish.

The bank has been lowered in parts to enable the river to spill out when the water levels rise to create wetland habitat.

The £20,000 scheme was funded by the Water Environment Improvement Fund, which supports projects aimed at improving the status of the water.

Helen George, Natural Flood Management Project Manager at the Environment Agency in East Anglia, said:

We couldn’t have done this if we hadn’t all worked together like we did and I am so grateful for that. We have made an improvement to the river which benefits the fish, invertebrates and various other animals that use the river. We have a duty to get these rivers up to a good status by 2027, which is why we are using grants available to us to help achieve this.

The funding was given to the project to help improve the physical habitat of the river, which is classified as heavily modified. In the past, many of the region’s rivers and streams were deepened, widened and straightened to power mills, enable navigation, drain land for agriculture and reduce flood risk. These historic works have left many rivers with simplified habitats that limit the range of fish, invertebrates and plants they can support.

Norwich Fringe Project, which is financially supported by Norwich City Council, Broadland and South Norfolk District Council, helped the Environment Agency to complete this scheme.

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