Groundwork North East & Cumbria is working with partners from across the region to protect and preserve the upper part of the Ouseburn River.
The charity has secured £200,000 from the Environment Agency to fund the Ouseburn River Restoration Project.
Working with partners including landowners, communities, schools and local businesses, Groundwork will carry out a number of enhancements to the river and the surrounding environment to improve water quality through a number of environmental improvements.
The project will implement several physical measures to slow the flow of the river, including widening it at strategic points, sculpting areas of the river bank, altering meanders and installing silt traps.
In addition to the physical work, the Ouseburn River Restoration Project will also work with farmers and landowners about how to manage fertiliser and sediment run off, which causes high levels of phosphorus in the river, this diminishes invertebrate life and affects all aspects of river life.
Lesley Silvera, Senior Project Officer at Groundwork North East & Cumbria, said:
It’s fantastic that the Ouseburn River Restoration Project is now off the ground. Over the next two years, we will be working closely with third parties to improve the water quality and ecology of the river.
We’ll also be looking to survey and eradicate invasive species, remove litter, monitor wildlife and plant trees, which will keep the river cool, create riverbank habitats and help prevent bank erosion.
We will be working in partnership with Newcastle University, the Environment Agency and Tyne Rivers Trust to observe and measure water quality to gauge the success of the scheme, which will also inform future work on the river.
Lucy Mo, the Environment Agency’s Project Manager responsible for funding this work added:
The health of our rivers is better than it’s ever been with drastic improvements to water quality over the past 20 years. However, there is still more to do and by working with partners on projects such as the Ouseburn River Restoration Project we can play to different organisations’ strengths and deliver more.
We’re pleased to be part of this exciting project, which will improve in-river and bankside habitats, and will also give us more water monitoring data and analysis.
The work is funded primarily through the Environment Agency. Additional funding is from Groundwork NE & Cumbria, Northumbrian Water Ltd, Newcastle University. Partners include Environment Agency, Northumbrian Water Ltd, Natural England, Tyne Rivers Trust, Newcastle City Council and Newcastle University.