River Allen restored for rare crayfish and water voles

White clawed crayfish from the River Allen
Image caption More cover will be provided for rare white-clawed crayfish to hide

Rare crayfish and water voles are set to benefit from almost £60,000 which will help fund restoration work at a chalk stream in east Dorset.

The River Allen is home to rare species such as white-clawed crayfish, Dorset Wildlife Trust said.

It has been awarded £44,480 from Biffa Award and £15,000 from Sembcorp Bournemouth Water.

The work will include restoring the natural flow of the river by planting small trees along the bank.

The River Allen Project, a community partnership led by Dorset Wildlife Trust, will carry out the work.

The trust said the work would provide more cover for crayfish to hide and vegetation for water voles to feed on.

'Richest habitats'

It added isolated populations of wildlife would also benefit as they would be able to "expand and move freely along the river".

Amanda Broom, who manages the project at the trust, said: "Chalk streams are the richest river habitats for wildlife and the River Allen holds the strongest population in Dorset of rare wildlife such as the native white-clawed crayfish."

Work will be carried out over the course of the year, avoiding the various breeding seasons of fish, invertebrates and birds.

The River Allen Project aims to restore natural features along the river which have been lost due to work carried out in the past to straighten and deepen it.

Biffa Award, which is managed by Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts, uses landfill tax credits donated by Biffa Waste Services.

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