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Project aims to improve spawning gravels on River Gipping at Stowmarket

PUBLISHED: 11:32 24 December 2018 | UPDATED: 11:32 24 December 2018

Ben Norrington and Andy Ward from the Environment Agency working in the River Gipping Picture: Melissa Abbott

Ben Norrington and Andy Ward from the Environment Agency working in the River Gipping Picture: Melissa Abbott

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Volunteers from malt company Muntons have worked with the Environment Agency to improve conditions for wildlife on the River Gipping.

Volunteers from Muntons working with Environment Agency staff on the Ripping Gipping projectVolunteers from Muntons working with Environment Agency staff on the Ripping Gipping project

Flow deflectors made from large branches and trunks were placed at an angle into the river bank, in order to push the flow towards the centre of the river to reduce the build-up of sediment and create gravel beds ideal for spawning fish.

The project was organised by the Essex and Suffolk Rivers Trust and was funded by Defra’s Water Environment Improvement Fund (WEIF) with support from the Environment Agency, Muntons and PPG.

Information boards have been placed on public footpaths near the river to give more information about project.

Biodiversity officer for the Environment Agency, Naomi Boyle, who designed the project said: “Historically woody material has been removed from our watercourses as part of routine river management. Now it is understood that timber, together with smaller twigs and branches, is an essential component of healthy river systems.

“Projects like this are designed to improve habitat density within the river and, during high flows. These structures create areas of slack water that provide refuge for fish and invertebrates.”

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