Multi-million pound project for river

A multi-million pound restoration project to transform a river which runs along the north Shropshire border has been launched.

The River Dee
The River Dee

The aim of plans for the River Dee and its surroundings is to help improve declining fish populations and rare wildlife in the area.

Natural Resources Wales says the £6.8 million project will bring multiple benefits to the environment, particularly improving the numbers of salmon, lamprey and freshwater pearl mussels, helping them become more sustainable in the future.

With a catchment area of more than 695 square miles, the Dee is one of the most highly regulated rivers in Europe. Along with Bala Lake/Llyn Tegig it has been designated a Special Area of Conservation.

Working in partnership with local communities, landowners and contractors, the project will include weir removals, constructing fish passages, improving the river channel, and adapting farming and forestry practices. It will also focus on rearing and releasing the critically-endangered freshwater pearl mussel, until the population is re-established.

Clare Pillman for Natural Resources Wales said: “This is a major, large scale project which will make a real, tangible difference to the River Dee and surrounding area, not only from an environmental perspective but also creating wider socio-economic benefits for the region too.

"It is the first time that NRW has put forward a river restoration project addressing multiple issues across such a large catchment, and demonstrates how we are taking immediate practical action to respond to the global challenge of biodiversity loss and helping to tackle the nature emergency."

The Dee runs through Llangollen and the Dee Valley and through Erbistock and Bangor-on-Dee on the north Shropshire border before reaching Chester and into the Dee Estuary on the north Wales coast.

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