MP to Inspect River Nar Restoration Progress (UK)

MP to Inspect River Nar Restoration Progress

Henry Bellingham, North West Norfolk MP, will visit the River Nar later this week to see how work is progressing to restore it to a more natural state.

The visit has been organised by the Environment Agency and its partners to highlight the ongoing efforts to improve the river.

Repeated dredging over the years has damaged natural features of the river like meanders, pools and gravel beds, and as a result the river was a poorer environment for wildlife.

However, the Environment Agency has worked hard to reverse this trend, and Friday’s tour will include visits to schemes that are restoring the river to its former glories.

Highlights of the visit will include trips to West Acre and Castle Acre, where improvement schemes are restoring as much of the mature chalk stream habitat as possible.

Henry Bellingham MP said: “The Nar River is of huge significance to West Norfolk, and is indeed a wider national importance as well.

I applaud the conservation work that has been carried out by the Environment Agency and look forward to working with them in the future.”

The River Nar is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and flows 15 miles from Castle Acre, through to Narborough, and joins the River Great Ouse at King’s Lynn.

Dr Geoff Brighty, Area Manager for the Environment Agency, said: “People have had a long association with rivers, for life and their livelihoods.

But this has led to a decline in water quality and caused damage to habitats and wildlife. Working with our partners here in Norfolk, we have helped to turn back the years, restoring the beautiful River Nar to a more sustainable state and helping to protect it in the future.

The Environment Agency is also looking to build a fish pass at Narborough Sluice and West Acre Mill to allow fish to swim upstream as far as Lexham for the first time in years.

The Norfolk Rivers Trust has also recently been awarded £609,000 from Defra’s Catchment Restoration Funds for a series of restoration projects on the River Nar at Castle Acre.

The Environment Agency is working in partnership with the River Restoration Centre, Natural England, Norfolk Rivers Trust, Norfolk Rivers Internal Drainage Board and local landowners to restore the river.

The tour will also take in the River Wissey Siphon Fish Pass, which has been installed by the Environment Agency let fish swim to the Wash at King’s Lynn.

The visit comes ahead of World Rivers Day on Sunday 29 September, which highlights the value of our rivers and the importance of caring for them. Events range from stream cleanups and habitat enhancement projects to educational outings and community riverside celebrations.

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Press Release, September 27, 2013

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