River Walkham hydro-electric scheme gets go-ahead

Huckworthy Huckworthy will get a new fish pass allowing migratory fish to travel upstream

A controversial plan to install a hydro-electricity turbine on a Dartmoor salmon river has been given the go-ahead by the national park authority.

Renewable energy firm Clean Green Power (CGP) asked to build a turbine on the River Walkham near Yelverton.

Opponents said the scheme would affect the migration of salmon and trout to spawning grounds.

But the national park authority said in a report that the scheme would help fish passing up the river.

CGP will build an improved fish ladder - a structure allowing fish to travel over a weir on the river .

The firm will also not be allowed to abstract water if the river drops below a level which allows fish to migrate.

The park authority also said the reinstatement of a working leat, a channel for water to a former mill, would enhance Dartmoor's "cultural heritage".

The park authority received 69 letters of objection, including from the Dartmoor Society and the Council for the Preservation of Rural England, and two in support of the application.

CGP said the average output of the hydro-electric generator would be enough to power about 100 homes.

It said that an an existing fish ladder was too high and poorly designed.

Tim Abrahall, co-director of CGP said: "The classic image of salmon moving upriver is in a series of massive leaps, but actually it is better for the fish to be able to swim up a series of controlled steps."

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