Rod licence money restores Heacham river bank

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A restoration project has been carried out at Heacham Lavender Mill using funds raised from fishing rod licences.

Environment Agency fisheries and biodiversity team members have completed 300m of habitat improvement to transform a silty, straightened and over-grazed section of river with re-sculpted banks to create a floodplain-type habitat.

The site will provide a more varied and valuable habitat for fish and invertebrates while preventing erosion.

The team worked with staff and volunteers from Norfolk Rivers Trust on the two-day project. They planted 2,500 plugs of native English chalk-stream plants including purple loosestrife, meadowsweet,marsh marigold, lesser pond sedge and fleabain along the bank.

The plants will take hold over the next few months and provide a colourful environment as well as great habitat for insects and possibly water voles. Owners and staff of the Lavender Mill helped by replacing old fencing and planting trees along the new banks. The river will now be made accessible to all visitors and be complemented by an extended nature walk opening up acres of previously ignored land.

All anglers need a valid licence to fish legally. The EA’s Ian Hirst, fisheries and biodiversity team leader, said: “Buying a rod licence supports our work to improve fishing and help improve rivers. Without this funding we would not be able to monitor our fish populations and make the right investments to improve the water environment.”