Environment Agency
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New wetland habitats created in Norfolk

Wildlife is set to thrive after a river habitat restoration project was completed along the River Yare near Earlham.

The Environment Agency, the Norfolk Rivers Trust and Norwich City Council have been working together to improve the Yare Valley around the south of Norwich.

The work involved creating diverse habitats within the river to benefit aquatic plants and provide refuge for fish.

A new wetland was also constructed to collect surface water run-off, which will improve the quality of the water before it re-enters the river. The wetland also makes a great habitat for wildlife that thrive in wet conditions.

Bundles of hazel have been secured against the banks, which will help prevent erosion on this stretch. Historically the riverbanks have worn away due to the public and dogs accessing the river. A dog ramp has now been installed to prevent erosion and reduce the amount of mud entering the river.

Amy Prendergast, Environment Agency Catchment Coordinator, said:

The works have restored some beautiful sections of the River Yare.

Through Earlham Park you can see clear water, clean gravels and fish already enjoying the faster flows.

I hope people will make use of the dog ramps and help protect the riverbanks.

A spokesperson for the Norfolk Rivers Trust said:

This work has helped to increase habitat diversity and increase the diversity of species in the river.

It will also help to reduce the risk of both flooding and erosion in the area whilst also improving water quality.

We look forward to seeing the positive impact of the changes on the local wildlife.

Norwich City councillor Matthew Packer, portfolio holder for health and wellbeing, said:

What a great example of partnership work this is.

This project also aligns with the council’s ongoing commitment to protect and enhance the city’s open spaces.

I’m so pleased to see another scheme focused on enhancing biodiversity being delivered here in Norwich.

Additional information

  • This work is part of a wider green infrastructure project, which is creating a corridor of linked habitats and green spaces along the Yare Valley. This priority is set out in local planning policy. Read more here: Norwich City Council Planning Policy
  • Under this objective, the Environment Agency and its partners are aiming to improve access to green and natural spaces. Other enhancements to the area to date include:
  • In 2018 a new footbridge over the River Yare between Colney and Bowthorpe was constructed, funded by the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).
  • In 2018, fish refuges and ponds were created in Bowthorpe Southern Park and fast water running gravel glides created in the river nearby.
  • Works completed by the developer of the Bartram Mowers site in 2019 have also improved a section of the riverside footpath in Eaton. More works are planned to improve biodiversity and access through the next phases of development.
Channel website: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/environment-agency

Original article link: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-wetland-habitats-created-in-norfolk

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