Fish and wildlife within a ‘heavily silted’ stretch of the River Rother are to be fostered in a bid to re-populate the waters.
Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust aim to boost life in and around the river in the Catcliffe area over three years.
This particular stretch of river has minimal river life as a result of having been artificially straightened for navigational purposes.
To improve matters, a series of in-channel ‘berms’, banks extending into the river, will be created for a more natural flow. Over time this should create new micro-habitats within the river, benefiting fish and invertebrates. A new backwater will be created too.
“This scheme has been a long time in the making” said Roy Mosley, the trust’s head of conservation.
“While the benefits for wildlife are obvious it’s been important that we demonstrate it won’t increase flood risk, as the area has flooded in the past.”
Extensive flood modelling has shown how the scheme will not increase flood risk. Each benefit of the planned work has been explained to local residents and groups.
The intervention is part of a ‘Rotherham Rivers’ project that the Trust is delivering in partnership with the Environment Agency and Rotherham Metropolitan Council.
This biodiversity work has been funded by WREN through the Landfill Communities Fund and the Environment Agency.
Amanda Best, the Environment Agency’s Biodiversity Technical Specialist said: “These improvements are a very positive step for the recovery of wildlife and fish populations on the River Rother.”
Works are expected to take place at the end of this month and in early September for three weeks, river levels permitting.
To find out more about the whole scheme, visit Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust