Local rivers benefit from scheme

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The River Forth Fisheries Trust has received support from the Heritage Lottery Fund for an exciting project that will reconnect communities with the Almond and Avon rivers.

Further funding for this 
exciting environmental initiative has come from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.

The lottery funding of £1.55 million for the Almond-Avon reconnection programme 
includes the award of a grant of £266,300 to assist the River Forth Fisheries Trust in developing the project to the next stage.

Covering more than 79km and flowing through West Lothian, Falkirk and Edinburgh, the Almond and Avon Rivers were at the forefront of the industrial revolution and shaped the communities situated along their banks.

This project will encourage people living nearby to reconnect with the rivers through a number of initiatives 
designed to improve the natural heritage for both the wildlife and community enjoyment.

Local communities will be involved in essential conservation work to restore and protect the rivers for aquatic wildlife, such as migratory salmon and sea trout, as well as other species which rely heavily on the water environment.

Paths will be improved to create better access and interpretation produced in conjunction with local heritage trusts.

There will also be awareness raising events, skills training with accredited 
qualifications and volunteer events to promote and enhance the natural heritage.

The Trust will engage with volunteer groups, community councils, landowners and members of the community to make sure everyone has a chance to have a say about the projects.

It expects to start delivering projects from mid-2016 onwards over the following three years.

Alison Baker, catchment manager for the trust said: “We’re delighted the Heritage Lottery Fund and SEPA WEF have given us this support.

‘‘The Almond/Avon reconnection programme will make a lasting improvement for wildlife and communities along each river.

‘‘Trust staff are looking forward to engaging with communities and reconnecting them to their local rivers.”

Further information from: www.fishforth.co.uk/rfft