River project to be extended

A project to raise awareness of the River Ecclesbourne has been extended.

The Ecclesbourne Valley Restoration Project began last year, co-ordinated by a partnership including Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, the Environment Agency, Severn Trent Water, county and district councils, landowners and farming representatives. Now the project is to continue until the end of March 2014.

So far the project has started working with volunteers on practical habitat restoration projects in the river catchment, between Wirksworth and Duffield. Educational visits were made to local schools and volunteers have begun surveying the river through a ‘meander monitoring’ scheme.

“We’ve had such positive feedback from local people, I’m sure that’s what encouraged the Environment Agency to continue to fund the project,” said Chris Wood, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust’s Water for Wildlife Project Manager. “We will be continuing to work with local schools and to carry out our practical habitat restoration work with teams of volunteers. First on that agenda is to continue to manage the invasive Himalayan balsam on the main river and many of its side streams. This will be followed by habitat restoration in the winter.”

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust is running work parties on Fridays for the rest of the summer at the river and through until March 2014. Please contact the Trust on 01773 881188 to book or visit the website www.derbyshirewildlifetrust.org.uk for details. If you are a school in the Ecclesbourne Valley and would like to get involved, contact Louise Valantine at the Trust on 01773 881188.