English Nature secured the funding from the EU’s LIFE-Nature programme and will be working with partners such as the Environment Agency, Wiltshire Wildlife Trust and Wessex Water.

Six sites are set for ecological restoration in total covering 10km.

The River Avon is one of the best river systems for wildlife in the UK but has been damaged by a wide range of activities, some of the most damaging of which have been engineering works between the 1940s and 1980s to enlarge and straighten river channels for land drainage, mainly for agricultural intensification.

This has caused naturally clean river gravels to silt up, reducing breeding and feeding habitats for internationally important species such as Atlantic Salmon, as well as other plants, insects and fish.

Dagmar Junghanns, English Nature’s deputy team manager said: “We are absolutely delighted that the project has been successful and will help carry forward the River Avon Conservation Strategy. We look forward to making a real and positive difference to the Avon system over the next four years.”

The project will be formally launched on November 28th.

David Hopkins

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