Businesses rallying together to help improve their local habitat

At Wapping Burn are, from left, Wear Rivers Trust secretary Neil Ashforth, local volunteer William Wilkinson, Sandra Wardle from Novus Business Centre , Jim Wood from Caterpillar, and local volunteer Gary Smith helping out with the final day wetland planting task.
At Wapping Burn are, from left, Wear Rivers Trust secretary Neil Ashforth, local volunteer William Wilkinson, Sandra Wardle from Novus Business Centre , Jim Wood from Caterpillar, and local volunteer Gary Smith helping out with the final day wetland planting task.

The second phase of important habitat improvements along a beck which runs through Peterlee Industrial Estate is set to start in early spring.

The Wear Rivers Trust, working in partnership with the Coastal Streams Partnership, Environment Agency, Northumbrian Water and local businesses will be working with local contractors to transform a section of Wapping Burn which is currently seen as more of an eyesore than an important wildlife corridor.

The Wapping Burn is a tributary of the Castle Eden Dene, which flows down through Castle Eden Dene Nature Reserve and joins the sea at Horden, has been the focus of crucial restoration efforts over the last three years.

A spokesman for the scheme said: “Many workers from the surrounding businesses were not even aware of its presence due to past neglect. It is hoped that by enhancing instream habitat and providing opportunities for local businesses to get their feet wet through helping to manage the site that wildlife will soon return.

“The improvement work, which is due to be completed by April, will include the installation of scour protection around a surface water outfall to reduce erosion, channel reprofiling, the creation of offline ponds and the planting of native wetland plants.

“Local businesses and volunteer groups will be invited to help plant up the newly created wildlife habitats and also help manage the site in the foreseeable future by removing unwanted weeds and litter.”

“Businesses have been involved in the project development stages for over two years and it is hoped future projects can be delivered to further enhance water quality and instream habitat around the Castle Eden Dene catchment by working in partnership.”

Anyone interested in helping should contact the trust on 01388 488867.