Brook flourishes as environmental improvements continue

A project to improve the natural environment in parts of Peterborough has seen an urban brook flourish.

The Werrington Brook Improvements programme, led by the Environment Agency, has just completed work on another 550 metres of Marholm Brook, near Arundel Road.

This latest phase of the five-year programme is expected to boost water quality and natural habitats along the watercourse, leading to a cleaner, greener and healthier environment.

Previously completed phases along a 1km-stretch of the brook near Dukesmead and Lincoln Road have already brought about visible improvements to the area, with foliage flourishing and a variety of wildlife species now calling it ‘home’.

The latest phase of work involved increasing the number of meanders in the brook, re-shaping its banks, and introducing natural river features like riffles, berms and pools.

The measures are designed to replicate the way healthier rivers and brooks work to encourage natural processes that help clean the water, create better habitats and keep the stream healthy.

Local volunteers have taken a vital role in monitoring the success, helping to collect information on water quality and recording improvements.

Catchment co-ordinator at the Environment Agency, Rob Price, said: “Cleaner rivers and brooks make life better – from encouraging varied and healthy wildlife, to creating more attractive green spaces for all to enjoy.  In turn, people make the most of them, for instance by taking more walks and enjoying the open air.  And this can bring a whole range of benefits, including improved health and well-being."

“The early results of our work are really encouraging. The new features appear to be performing well and are enhancing the environment.  Local organisations and communities, including volunteers, have helped gather these results and are taking real pride in them.”

The work is all part of the five-year Werrington Brook Improvement programme to improve the brooks, river and lake that, together, make up the Werrington and Marholm Brook area. The project is supported by Peterborough City Council, the charity Peterborough Environment City Trust (PECT) and other partners.

The programme aims to bring together communities and businesses to improve the way the brooks operate. This will boost local wildlife, enhance inner-city amenity spots and help the water environment adapt to the impact of a growing city.

As well as improving the quality of the brooks, the completed work is expected to bring a number of social, ecological and economic benefits to the area. For more information about the programme, visit www.pect.org.uk/WerringtonBrook.