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Environmental project seeks to restore declining habitat at portion of River Stour in Sudbury

The low level of the River Stour in Sudbury. (7616580)
The low level of the River Stour in Sudbury. (7616580)

An environmental project, aimed at reversing the decline of a river habitat in Sudbury, has begun.

The Sudbury and Long Melford District Angling Club (SLMDAA) and the Environment Agency’s Fisheries Team worked in partnership over the last week, to start the restoration of a portion of the River Stour around Lady Island.

The channel of water has becomeoverwhelmed with Norfolk reed and other aquatic vegetation, impacting the local population of fish and other wildlife.

To address this issue, aquatic excavation work – funded by the EA Fisheries Improvement Programme – is being carried out to selectively clear the channel of water.

Jason Skilton, SLMDAA media officer, said: “We’ve delighted that the angling club, land owner and the Environment Agency have managed to work together to get this long-term project under way.

“The backwater around Lady Island is a valuable habitat for fish, insects and birds, so to see the clearance of the overgrown vegetation to allow water to flow around the island is incredible.”

Ben Norrington, Environment Agency fisheries and biodiversity officer, added: “The project has been a vision of improving both the environment and recreational angling and follows a partnership approach set up a few years ago with the Environment Agency, local angling clubs, trusts and charities to highlight and mitigate problems with fish populations on the River Stour.”

“These important habitats are critical for fish populations as off main channel refuge. They also act as great spots for fishing.

“Thanks to everyone involved in our partnership approach of river restoration and let’s hope it continues.”

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