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Burnhall and Burnigill Habitat Improvement Project

Together with local anglers, Wear Rivers Trust identified and came up with a series of actions to address poor habitat quality along stretches of the Rivers Browney and Wear. Many different volunteers came forward to help carry out the actions to improve habitat for fish and other wildlife.

The River Browney is one of the largest River Wear tributaries and the project took place on stretches of each river near their confluence, around Burnigill and Burnhall, a few miles south of Durham city. Anglers from Ferryhill and District Angling Club worked with our project officer to plan and carry out habitat improvement works.

Volunteers willow spiling

The stretch had very little bankside and channel vegetation, meaning a lack of shelter for fish and other animals reliant upon the river. Lack of vegetation to hold the banks together also made the stretch vulnerable to erosion of the surrounding farm land. The local landowners agreed to fencing off the water course to prevent stock access (another cause of bank erosion and channel bed siltation) and tree planting was carried out in the buffer of land between the fence and the river. Willow spiling was also used to act as a bank protection measure.

Pre-willow Willow protecting the bank

Six volunteer days were held in total where members of the angling club, East Durham College, a local cub group and Northumbrian Water employees and WRT volunteers helped with willow cutting and installation and planting of over 1200 trees.

Cubs planting trees Volunteer team



Funders of the project:

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