The Wear Rivers Trust will be working in partnership with the Environment Agency and Durham County Council to design a new river channel in Chester-le-Street. The section of river is located between Cone Terrace and the A167 and is currently contained within a concrete channel which is hidden from public view and considered to be a complete barrier to some species of fish looking to migrate into the Cong Burn.
The project will run through until March 2019 and will aim to produce several channel designs following consultation with river and flood experts, local residents and catchment partners. The project will be delivered in line with the Market Place Flood Alleviation Scheme approximately 500m upstream. Final designs for the channel restoration work will be used to apply for funding to enable practical work to be carried out.
Delivery of the channel improvements will contribute towards increasing fish populations in both the Cong Burn and River Wear, increase wildlife and reduce flood risk around Chester-le-Street and improve the area for local people and visitors to enjoy for many years to come.
Steve Hudson, the senior project officer for the Wear Rivers Trust said “Restoration of this section will result in multiple long term benefits for both wildlife and the people of Chester-le-Street”. “We’ll not only see more fish in the river but we’ll also be creating a great community asset for local people to enjoy for years to come, along what is a popular route connecting the Market Place down to Chester Park and the River Wear”.
Public consultation on channel designs have been scheduled in to take place in December, however any input from residents or interested parties at this early stage would be very welcome as this will assist us in the project planning processes and include any useful recommendations in the early stages.
The Cong Burn Restoration Project will also include two fish passage improvements in the upper catchment, whereby plastic sleepers will be used to enable fish to swim past obstructions and further up the watercourse to spawn.