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Enhancing water and wildlife in Peterborough

Wildlife, water and communities are set to benefit from improvements to the environment starting this week in Peterborough, led by the Environment Agency.

The Werrington Brook Improvements programme, starting with a 417-metre stretch of Marholm Brook, near Lincoln road, will see work take place to improve water quality and create better habitats.

The five-year partnership between the Environment Agency, Peterborough City Council and the charity Peterborough Environment City Trust will include work to replicate the way a natural stream flows. At the moment, during dry periods, the area suffers from shallow water, low flows and lacks important dissolved oxygen which is needed for healthy habitats and wildlife.

The work will include increasing the number of meanders, re-shaping banks, creating a small wetland, and introducing several natural river features like riffles, berms and pools. These will all work together to create natural processes that, in turn, will help clean the water, create better wildlife habitat and keep the stream healthy.   

Rob Price, Catchment Coordinator at the Environment Agency, said:

“The Werrington Brook Improvements programme will create an even better environment for people and wildlife, bringing additional social, well-being and economic benefits to the area. 

“Healthy rivers and habitats encourage a cleaner environment which results in a more diverse and healthier wildlife, making green spaces even more attractive for all to enjoy. In turn, people make the most of them, like taking more walks, exploring and enjoying their surroundings which helps improve health and well-being.”

The works follow a public consultation held last winter and form part of a wider programme to deal with pollution and encourage communities and businesses to engage closer with the water environment. Further improvements are planned for eight more stretches of water between Marholm village and Cuckoo’s Hollow Lake – which Peterborough City Council is currently carrying out large scale maintenance to remove some of the reeds and reduce silt in the lake to improve water flow.

This work will help improve and keep the national water quality environment standards of the streams in this area. The success of the improvements will be closely monitored and used to help plan further developments in Peterborough and elsewhere in the country.

The programme is part funded by Environment Agency and Peterbrough City Council who aim to attract other partners to help deliver the work.