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Winchester waterways get £170,000 spruce-up
9:40am Saturday 31st August 2013 in Winchester
RIVERS in the city centre are getting an overhaul as part of a £170,000 project.
The three-year initiative will see the walls repaired, while gravel and plants will be added to create “a winding and aesthetically-pleasing river corridor” through Abbey Gardens in Winchester's centre.
Winchester City Council and the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust are pooling their efforts on the project, having commisioned specialist river restoration contractors, Aquascience.
Martin De Retuerto, of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, said: “We hope that this project will make the riverside areas of Winchester an even more interesting and attractive place to live and visit. The improvements are self-sustaining and will not increase the risk of flooding.”
Cllr Jan Warwick, portfolio holder for neighbourhoods and environment, said: “This exciting project will help to make the very best of Winchester's waterways for wildlife and people, bringing the countryside into the town and linking the city to the wider landscape.”
Freshwater eel, brown trout and grayling have been spotted in river stretches previously completed in the district.
The Abbey Gardens stretch follows similar improvements at Friarsgate, and an 'interpretive water vole trail' is to be created with cash from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The trail will lead walkers from Abbey Gardens, along the riverbanks, to Winnall Moors Nature Reserve.
A council spokesman said work on the waterways at North Walls is slated for next spring.
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