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Chalk Stream Improvements to Benefit Fish Populations


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Wildlife on Lincolnshire’s Laceby Beck is to benefit from work to improve the chalk stream.

The EA report that:

The Laceby Beck Project, a partnership between the Environment Agency, the Lincolnshire Chalk Streams Project and others, is working with landowners near Grimsby to improve 2.4km of the beck.

In particular the vegetation that is shading the watercourse is being cleared as it prevents sunlight reaching the bed of the beck and restricts the growth of aquatic plants, such as water crowfoot, a characteristic chalk stream plant.

Helen Barber, of the Environment Agency, said:

“Laceby Beck is a spring-fed chalk stream and has the potential to be highly valuable to wildlife.

The stretch of beck we are currently working on close to Laceby village already has a fairly natural meandering habit and this means we should see improvements quite quickly as a result of our work.

The work complements what we carried out on the beck close to the golf club last year. It will create new habitats for fish - particularly trout - and both terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates. The work will also improve the habitat for mammals such as water voles and bats and birds such as kingfishers.”

The Laceby Beck Project is looking at all the issues affecting the watercourse and the Lincolnshire Chalk Streams Project is a partnership between the Environment Agency, Anglian Water, Natural England, the Lincolnshire Wolds Countryside Service, the Wild Trout Trust and the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust.

Ruth Snelson, Project Officer for the Lincolnshire Chalk Streams Project, said:

“This is a fantastic opportunity to improve a long stretch of chalk stream habitat. By working in partnership with the Environment Agency, and with support from farmers and the golf course, we expect some positive long term changes to the habitat. Brown trout have been known to live in this part of the beck and it would be great to see them return in the near future.”

The work, carried out by Creative Nature, started on 29 January and is due to finish shortly. It forms part of the final phase of the Laceby Beck Project and once completed it will continue to be monitored. Earlier phases, which began in August 2011, focused on working with landowners to improve land management and reduce sediment entering the beck. Surveys were carried out to identify where sediment was entering the watercourse, barriers to fish movement and areas that would benefit from habitat improvement.

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Tagged as:

brown trout, Environment Agency, Habitat restoration, Laceby Beck