Natural flood management and nature reserve improvements along the River Churnet have been given the green light after Staffordshire Wildlife Trust and the District Council won funding of £176,000.
The Wilder River Churnet project will see nature based solutions introduced to deliver natural flood management, improved water quality and improvements to habitats to attract more insect and birds.
The funding has been secured following a joint bid between SWT and Staffordshire Moorlands District Council to the Government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund set up to boost green jobs and nature recovery.
Leaky dams, natural log-jams, ponds and earth bunds will see 2.5km of the watercourse restored and improvements will be carried out at eight nature reserves in the Churnet Valley benefitting both visitors and wildlife.
Councillor Joe Porter, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Biodiversity at the Council, said: “It’s fantastic news that the Wildlife Trust has secured funding for these exciting joint projects with the Council which will make a real difference to our residents, our environment and our wildlife.
“Nature-based solutions such as these along the River Churnet are win-win for the Moorlands – they will deliver huge benefits locally and play a key role in our wider objectives to mitigate against the impact of climate change.
“Involving local people in projects to protect and enhance our natural environment is the key factor in ensuring they are a success so I’m particularly delighted that the Wilder River Churnet project will offer plenty of opportunities for volunteers as well as improving these places for local people and visitors.
“We’ve hit the ground running and expect to be on site in the coming weeks – and I can’t wait to get started!”
The Council approved a Green Infrastructure Delivery Strategy in 2018 which prioritised nature-based solutions, nature recovery networks and improved water quality amongst its objectives.
Councillor Porter added: “There are few bigger challenges facing the world than addressing climate change so it’s no surprise that the Council has declared a climate emergency and is working to ensure that we consider the impact on the environment of all our operations and decisions.
“There is no time to waste and we’re delivering a number of project and initiatives including these Wilder River Churnet schemes. You can read our action plan and find out more about what we’re doing on our website.”