RESTORATION work by Westcountry Rivers Trust (WRT) will help the upper stretches of the River Camel in Cornwall.

The charity has been awarded €15,000 by the Open Rivers Programme, which supports the removal of small dams and the restoration of river flow and biodiversity, to remove redundant in-river barriers covering the width of the river at Worthyvale Manor, near Camelford.

River and fisheries officer at WRT and project lead, Craig Renton said: “This section of the river lies within a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Area of Conservation, and we are supported by the landowner to alleviate some of the obstacles facing fish on their migratory journey to their upstream spawning grounds.

“At the end of August and before in-river work began, our fisheries team made a preliminary electrofishing survey of the river.

“These surveys do not harm the fish but do help us gain a better understanding of the numbers and species that live there.”

Following these initial surveys, the team, along with external contractors, removed the weirs in September. The river will continue to be monitored to see the effect the barrier removals have on fish populations.

Craig added: “This will help us to deliver vital work on this highly valued river to support many protected and endangered species.”

It is hoped that more barriers can be eased along the river in future. 

The European Open Rivers Programme is a Dutch grant giving foundation, funded by Arcadia.

Arcadia is a charitable foundation that works to protect nature, preserve cultural heritage, and promote open access to knowledge.

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