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Environment Agency and Wild Trout Trust release video showing success of River Witham restoration in Manthorpe

A restored floodplain is helping endangered species to thrive.

The Environment Agency is showcasing the success of its project to restore the River Witham in Manthorpe with a new video.

The former mill flood bank was removed in 2021 to create a new environment for wildlife such as otters, wetland birds, white clawed crayfish and water voles, and the floodplain was lowered.

Manthorpe wetted floodplain in winter
Manthorpe wetted floodplain in winter

In the video Leigh Edline, deputy director Lincolnshire and Northants Environment Agency, said: “Walking along the River Witham today it is beautiful.

“It looks like it should always have looked.

“It makes me feel connected to the river environment.”

Manthorpe wetted floodplain in winter
Manthorpe wetted floodplain in winter

The project, in connection with the Wild Trout Trust, has already seen an increase in wildlife including brown trout, mayflies and crane flies.

Rob Mungovan, conservation officer at the Wild Trout Trust, also explained in the video how he had spotted evidence of water voles in the river.

“I’ve walked through the margins here and I’ve already found a number of latrines and feeding areas with little runways among the grass so the water voles are expanding their population,” he said.

“They are one of the fastest declining mammals so this is a real success we should be proud of.”

The newly extended floodplain will also help store water when river levels are high, complementing existing flood defences protecting areas downstream.

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