Putting Nature Back Into the Blackwater River
The Blackwater River on the Surrey, Hampshire, Berkshire borders is set to benefit from an exciting new multi-agency project that will see 450m of the watercourse transformed into a nature haven for wildlife and the local community.
Source: Environment Agency
The Blackwater River on the Surrey, Hampshire, Berkshire borders is set to benefit from an exciting new multi-agency project that will see 450m of the watercourse transformed into a nature haven for wildlife and the local community, providing additional benefits such as flood alleviation.
The Environment Agency is working closely with Hanson Aggregates, Surrey County Council, the Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership and Scottish Southern Electric on ‘the Blackwater River Restoration Project’ which is located within a quarry site at Farnham.
Ryan Oakley a Biodiversity Technical Officer for the Environment Agency and project lead said:
“Currently this section of the River Blackwater is very artificial in nature and has a limited value for fish and other wildlife. This project will create a more natural river channel, to help reduce the potential for flooding in the area, and to enhance access and enjoyment of the Blackwater Valley for the local residents”.
The work is just the latest in a long term project to improve the River Blackwater and it isn’t the first time that work has been done on this section; back in 2006 the project group completed phase 1 by improving 500m of river directly upstream of the current project.
Phase 2 works are now underway creating a new route for the Blackwater to the south of its current alignment. While this means that the river will be moved further away from the residential properties, access will be maintained using crossing points leading to the new river channel and the edge of the quarry site.
Andy Duncan, Hanson Aggregates landscape manager said:
“We are very pleased with how the previous phases of quarry restoration and wetland habitat creation have developed in the last few years and with the numbers of bird species, invertebrates and reptiles that the site already supports, as recorded by all the keen local birdwatchers and ecologists who visit the site. The new river realignment will be a great addition to the biodiversity value of the complex.”
Once the quarry restoration is complete later this year, the permissive access across the site will once again be open for local residents to enjoy the landscape.
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