Tyne & Wear

Northumberland river survey identifies habitat problems

Image caption Improvements to river bank vegetation could help birds including the dipper

Northumberland rivers are failing water quality tests because of obstructions and a lack of riverbank vegetation, a survey has shown.

The survey was commissioned after the Rivers Blyth and Lyne failed the European Union's Water Framework Directive (WFD) for water quality.

Northumberland Wildlife Trust (NWT) is using a £70,000 grant to improve the two water courses.

The report also shows increased river bed silt is affecting fish egg-laying.

The Wild Trout Trust conducted the survey for the NWT.

Steve Lowe, head of conservation at Northumberland Wildlife Trust said: "We will be meeting with land managers, angling clubs and community groups, to agree a priority action plan which will include tree planting to create bankside cover, fencing works to reduce siltation from stock, removal of structures and a wide programme to increase diversity in the rivers."

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