Environment

River Bollin to benefit from £10m regeneration project led by National Trust

By David Prior at

The River Bollin is one of five rivers to benefit from a new £10million regeneration project led by the National Trust working with the Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales.

The Riverlands Project will improve access, wildlife habitats and water quality in the area, focusing on securing sustainable farming practices across National Trust and neighbouring farmland.

The project will include tackling non-native species such as the Himalayan Balsam, and will benefit wildlife including brown trout, Atlantic salmon and the endangered white clawed crayfish.

The River Bollin connects two National Trust properties, Quarry Bank and Dunham Massey.

Leading the project is Chris Widger, who is currently Countryside Manager for a number of National Trust places in Cheshire and the Wirral.

He said: “The Riverlands Project gives us a unique opportunity to make a real difference to water quality and wildlife.

“In Cheshire we face very specific issues due to the urban pressures that surround our waterways. Large infrastructure projects, concentrated populations, and land use practice which can pollute our rivers – and we look forward to working in partnership with others to tackle these environmental challenges and to encourage participation by the public.

The River Bollin connects National Trust properties Styal Mill and Dunham Massey

“As a major link to the River Mersey, the Bollin catchment is the obvious place for us to focus our attention on in the area to give nature a helping hand.”

Work on the ground will include habitat restoration and creating better paths and walking routes to make waterways more available for a wider range of people. As well as restoring opportunity for nature, the Riverlands project‘s long-term aim is to help communities enjoy their rivers more, not only as a home for wildlife but also as a space for health and wellbeing.

Riverlands is part of the National Trust’s wider objective to restore 25,000 hectares of wildlife-rich habitats by 2025. More than one in ten of the UK’s wildlife species are threatened with extinction, according to the 2016 State of Nature report.