Major investment to improve environment across Northumberland

More than £1.3million has been invested in a number of projects to improve the environment in the North East.

By David Sedgwick
Monday, 9th August 2021, 9:00 am
The new fish pass on the River Aln.
The new fish pass on the River Aln.

More than 15km of river has been improved, 1,000 hectares of habitat created or improved and more than 18,000 trees planted.

In addition, 10 lakes were given a boost for fishing while nine fish and five eel passage projects were completed.

The figures are part of the Environment Agency’s #WaterWarriors campaign, launched last week and urges people to consider how their actions can affect water quality and take action to protect blue spaces for everyone.

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The North East Environment Programme, managed and delivered by the Environment Agency, saw 43 partners involved in this year’s £1.3million programme, contributing £461,000 in funding.

Key projects included reducing the growth of macroalgae at coastal streams at Holy Island, looking at ecological enhancements at Blyth estuary, improvements across the Northumberland Coquet catchments to reduce pollution run off from land, and completion of a two-year project to improve fish and eel passage on the River Aln.

Catherine Saxon, North East Area Director for the Environment Agency, said: “From removing obstructions to allow fish to move further up our watercourses and reach their natural spawning grounds, to interventions to reduce the amount of sediment entering our rivers, and innovative techniques to create floating ecosystems in our estuaries, the environment in the North East is a far richer place following the delivery of last year’s projects.

“The Environment Agency’s #WaterWarriors campaign is highlighting the work our teams do on a daily basis to monitor and improve water quality.

"Working together in partnership means we can share expertise and deliver more for less and these successes would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of all those involved.

“But it’s important to remember that individual actions really do count.

"Small actions can have a damaging impact on water quality and there are some simple steps we can all take to make a difference.”

The campaign is also urging people visiting beaches, lakes and rivers to ‘know before you go’ by checking the Environment Agency’s Swimfo website, which provides instant, easy access to information on over 400 bathing waters in England.