The Don Catchment Rivers Trust has received initial support* from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for its Hidden Heritage Secret Streams project, it was announced today. Made possible by National Lottery players, the project aims to benefit natural and historic heritage associated with the rivers of the upper Rother Catchment in North East Derbyshire.
Development funding of £57,000 has also been awarded to help the Trust progress their plans to apply for a full grant at a later date, with a further £30,000 being provided by the Environment Agency.
It is expected that the project will be made up of several elements. One is the restoration of a 700 m stretch of the River Rother that was straightened in the 1960s during a time when its water was too polluted to support life. The river will be put back into its original meandering channel, restoring the wide range of habitats required to sustain a wildlife-rich river.
Other elements of the project will involve local communities. The Trust will work with volunteers to dig ponds and plant trees to trap sediment and pollution, clear up rubbish and ‘balsam bash’ (eradicate Himalayan Balsam, an invasive plant species). A history project will document forgotten watermills, which were a critical source of power during the early industrial revolution. There will also be a programme of events such as guided walks, training and river dipping.
Commenting on the award, Ed Shaw from the DCRT said:
“We’re very grateful to have received this support thanks to National Lottery players. Historically rivers and industry were strongly interlinked, which is something we celebrate in this project. We now live in an exciting time when river wildlife is returning to our rivers and this project offers many opportunities for people to get stuck in and make a positive difference to wildlife and improve our understanding of the area’s important industrial history.”
*HLF Heritage Grants (HG) applications are assessed in two rounds. The Don Catchment Rivers Trust has initially been granted round one development funding of £57,300 by the Heritage Lottery Fund, allowing it to progress with its plans. Detailed proposals are then considered by HLF at second round, where a final decision is made on the full funding award of £476,300.