Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 8°C

Search

Restored River Lark now ‘singing again’ thanks to trout club

PUBLISHED: 12:00 07 November 2015

Left to right: Keith Stevens, Ian Hawkins, Glenn Smithson, Peter Lawson, James Hooker and Giles Cawston

Left to right: Keith Stevens, Ian Hawkins, Glenn Smithson, Peter Lawson, James Hooker and Giles Cawston

Contributed

A project to restore the River Lark into a “lively river bustling with wildlife” has been recognised with a prestigious conservation award.

Spearheaded by the Bury St Edmunds Trout Club some nine years ago, the work has improved the flow of the water through West Stow Country Park, creating a better habitat for numerous species.

It won the medium-sized project category in the Wild Trout Trust – Thames Water Conservation Awards 2015, which recognise excellence in the management and conservation of wild trout habitat and celebrate the efforts of professionals and grassroots voluntary organisations.

Ian Hawkins, honorary fishery officer at the Bury Trout Club, said those involved in the project had also included the Environment Agency, Suffolk Wildlife Trust and the Wild Trout Trust.

He said: “It will benefit all the wildlife in the river and surrounding river from fish to insects, water voles, otters, everything. It will greatly benefit the people who come to use the country park.

Now, instead of the river being a sluggish sort of canal, in the last two or three years while we have been doing the work, the phrase I use is the Lark is singing again.”

Mr Hawkins said the work involved reducing the width of the river and therefore increasing the flow, oxygenating the water and clearing the built-up silt.

Major restoration work was carried out in September 2013 by the late Dr Nigel Holmes to narrow the river and then in April last year the club undertook planting on the newly-created gravel ridges at the edge of the Lark.

The award recognises the project for being “a story of sheer dogged determination, with Glenn Smithson [from the Bury Trout Club], Ian Hawkins and their supporters battling against widely-held views that what they were attempting (and have now achieved) was impossible”.

It said: “The result is the transformation of a straight, dredged channel into a sinuous, lively river bustling with wildlife.”

Mr Hawkins added: “We hope that this award will bring more visitors to the country park and that we might inspire and assist others along the Lark to improve their section of the river, particularly with the development of 1,250 new houses being built in Rushbrooke Lane. This is a fantastic opportunity for the developers to restore and protect the unmolested headwaters of the River Lark.”

A spike in Suffolk school pupil exclusions in March has raised concerns that children likely to get lower grades may be removed from mainstream schools before they sit GCSE exams.

More than 14,000 people flocked to sunny Hadleigh on Saturday for the town’s 179th annual show.

A woman who was violently assaulted in a Clacton nightclub has said she wants to rebuild her life after her attacker was jailed this week.

A person has been charged after a 26-year-old man was reportedly assaulted inside a Ford Fiesta in Thorpe-le-Soken.

Could you offer a home to one of these cats and dogs at the Blue Cross centre in Wherstead?

Highways England teams will be carrying out maintenance on trunk roads across the region over the next week.

The A140 was partially closed late on Saturday afternoon after a two-vehicle accident at the Stonham crossroads with the A1120.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24