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Water project aims to breathe new life into River Yare outside Norwich

PUBLISHED: 13:21 20 May 2019 | UPDATED: 13:21 20 May 2019

A stretch of the River Yare at Bowthorpe has been improved by a river habitat project involving the Environment Agency and the Norwich Fringe Project. Picture: Environment Agency

A stretch of the River Yare at Bowthorpe has been improved by a river habitat project involving the Environment Agency and the Norwich Fringe Project. Picture: Environment Agency

Environment Agency

Water flows on a stretch of the River Yare near Norwich have been improved to encourage a more diverse ecology of plants, invertebrates and fish.

A stretch of the River Yare at Bowthorpe has been improved by a river habitat project involving the Environment Agency and the Norwich Fringe Project. Pictured: Andy Goreham and Neil Mitchell are part of the project field team. Picture: Environment AgencyA stretch of the River Yare at Bowthorpe has been improved by a river habitat project involving the Environment Agency and the Norwich Fringe Project. Pictured: Andy Goreham and Neil Mitchell are part of the project field team. Picture: Environment Agency

The work at Bowthorpe, which included raising the river bed to create stone "glides", is a result of a partnership between the Environment Agency and the Norwich Fringe Project to improve a river habitat which has suffered in the past due to physical modifications.

In the past, many of the region's rivers and streams were deepened, widened and straightened to power mills, enable navigation, drain land for agriculture and reduce flood risk, said the agency.

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These historic works have left many rivers with "simplified" habitats which limit the range of wildlife they can support.

A stretch of the River Yare at Bowthorpe has been improved by a river habitat project involving the Environment Agency and the Norwich Fringe Project. Pictured: A stone glide and the improved flow of water. Picture: Environment AgencyA stretch of the River Yare at Bowthorpe has been improved by a river habitat project involving the Environment Agency and the Norwich Fringe Project. Pictured: A stone glide and the improved flow of water. Picture: Environment Agency

Helen George, natural flood management project manager at the Environment Agency in East Anglia, said: "We couldn't have done this if we hadn't all worked together like we did and I am so grateful for that. We have made an improvement to the river which benefits the fish, invertebrates and various other animals that use the river.

"We have a duty to get these rivers up to a good status by 2027, which is why we are using grants available to us to help achieve this."

The £20,000 scheme was funded by the Water Environment Improvement Fund. It also included lowering parts of the bank to enable the river to spill out when the water levels rise to create wetland habitats.

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