A £500,000 plan to renovate river
PEOPLE are being urged to have their say on a major conservation project to improve the River Welland through Harborough.
A conservation task force made up of University of Leicester experts, ecologists and community members wants to restore the river in town in a £500,000 project.
It is holding a meeting at The Angel Hotel, in Harborough, on November 1 at 7pm, to speak to people about the project and allow them a say.
The scheme has come about following the formation of the Welland Rivers Trust, a charitable group set up with the help of the University of Leicester.
University of Leicester biologist and conservation expert Dr David Harper is leading the project. He said: “The aim of the project is to put nature back in the river and give the river back to Market Harborough.
“The river, once a major obstacle to cross on the route between northern and southern England when travel was by foot or horseback, has lost almost all of its importance over the past 50 years.
“Deepened, straightened and polluted, its value to people and to wildlife is just a fraction of what it once was.”
Dr Harper said large sections of the river fail to meet a legal standard, known as ‘Good Ecological Status’, because engineering schemes in the 1960s turned it into a large drain from Harborough to the sea, removing wildlife habitats.
Cash for the scheme was secured from Defra following an application by the trust in partnership with the university, The Environment Agency and Harborough District Council.
Dr Harper said: “The trust has ideas, based on the collective experience of its leaders, about how we can achieve this without increasing the flood risk to the town. The last thing we are going to do, however, is to tell Market Harborough how this is going to be done.
“The next three to four months will be spent on extensive consultations with people. It will be an exciting time.”
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Weather for Market Harborough
Tuesday 21 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 4 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 22 mph
Wind direction: North west