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Major River Welland work is up and running

Half a million pounds worth of work has begun on the River Welland through Market Harborough by the Welland Rivers Trust. Pictured are Lisa Smallwood and Nick Coombs from the trust, with contractor Mark Stollery (center) from Aqua Science.

Half a million pounds worth of work has begun on the River Welland through Market Harborough by the Welland Rivers Trust. Pictured are Lisa Smallwood and Nick Coombs from the trust, with contractor Mark Stollery (center) from Aqua Science.

 

A £500,000 project to make the River Welland a better place for people and wildlife in the town is underway.

Work on the river transformation project started in Farndon Road and Northampton Road on Monday and there is a launch event today (Thursday) to let people now more about the scheme.

The river banks will be improved and wildflowers and hedges will be planted from Farndon Road to the bridge near the train station.

Weirs at the bridges in Farndon Road and Northampton Road, and a third near Sainsbury’s, will be removed as it develops a ripples and pools river flow.

The Welland Rivers Trust hopes the work will improve the ecology of the river and create better habitats to encouraging more butterflies and bees and attract other wildlife like otters, kingfishers and water voles.

In some areas the river will be made more accessible to people with lowering of the banks.

Nick Coombs from the trust said: “It is a river restoration or a rehabilitation designed for both wildlife and people.

“We are hoping people will begin to see the river as their own – as a pleasant place to go pond dipping and to go and fish.

“A lot of people walk by it now and don’t even know it’s a river. The restoration will make it look like a river and hopefully people will then interact with it more.”

The work is expected to take eight weeks, depending on the weather. It will also have to be put on hold during the breeding season.

The trust is working in partnership with Leicester University, Harborough District Council and the Environment Agency.

The trust’s celebratory launch event is in the Regency Room of The Angel Hotel in High Street, Harborough, from 4pm to 7pm today.

There will be images of how the river will look once complete and contractor Aqua Science will show examples of its other successful projects.

People can just turn up, there is no need to book.

 

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