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River scheme needs public support

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By Fiona Reid
Annan and Eskdale
River scheme needs public support

A RIVER restoration project in Annandale is seeking votes from the community to help it secure crucial funding.

The Annan Riparian Restoration Network project is being developed by the River Annan District Salmon Fishery Board, in partnership with Galloway Fisheries Trust and Restoring Annan’s Water (RAW). It aims to expand and restore a network of native woodlands across the River Annan and its tributaries.

Native broadleaf trees will create new habitat, whilst also joining remaining fragments of habitat throughout the landscape and providing shade for watercourses.

A bid has been submitted to Riverwoods, a new scheme led by the Scottish Wildlife Trust. They are hoping to get £5000 towards further development, funding a business plan to attract private investment and underpin tree planting work.

RAW member Norma Fears has already planted over 500 native tree species on the banks of the Annan at Oakriggside and believes this project is essential for maintaining biodiversity along the river. She said: “Like many of Scotland’s rivers, over the years the Annan has suffered the loss of natural riparian woodland habitat.

“Tree planting provides so many benefits – it’s difficult to know where to start. Trees keep waters shaded from increasing summer temperatures. The woodland brings minerals and essential woody debris which in turn leads to greater insect-life diversity and so encourages better spawning for fish. Well targeted planting schemes could stabilise eroded riverbanks and contribute to natural flood management.”

Public voting closes on Sunday and can be accessed at: www.riverwoodspioneers.communitychoices.scot/budgets/1/investments/14.

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