CONSERVATION work across the River Wiske corridor near Northallerton and surrounding villages is to be extended.

Following success achieved in initial phases of its River Wiske Restoration Project, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust has secured further funding from the Environment Agency and Yorkshire Water to continue rejuvenating this "modest yet locally important" watercourse.

The project is an effort to alleviate local flooding, tackle water pollution and create new habitat for wildlife.

And now the trust is urging landowners along the Wiske corridor to contact them and benefit from the funding available to support restoration work on their land.

Work by the trust in first year of the project included the installation of four livestock crossings, around 3.5 kilometres of bankside fencing, and the planting of more than 500 native trees.

To the untrained eye the river, a tributary of the River Swale, looks attractive and wildlife friendly, yet environmental assessments identify much of the Wiske to be in poor condition.

Contributing factors include diffuse pollution from water run-off from surrounding fields, and increased nutrient loading from sewerage overflows and waste water treatment.

The current watercourse conditions mean it provides very limited habitat for wildlife, whilst Himalayan balsam, an invasive non-native species, has taken hold in several locations.

Settlements within the river catchment, including Brompton, Northallerton and Romanby, have experienced significant flooding in recent years, with rapid run-off and a lack of ability to store water on land upstream identified as contributing to this problem.

Project officer Claire Burton said: “The funding can be used to improve the watercourse by undertaking tasks such as tree planting and bank re-profiling to save the eroding river bank, and riverside fencing and cattle crossing creation to prevent further siltation of the river.

“We have already worked with several landowners and have achieved great results. This additional funding enables us to support several more to the benefit of the river, its wildlife, and local communities.”

For more contact, for the attention of Claire Burton, or telephone 01904-659570.