River Trent moved in Stoke-on-Trent in £900k makeover

Published
The current channel of the River TrentImage source, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust
Image caption,
This is "the ugliest section" of the River Trent, according to Stoke-on-Trent City Council

An "ugly" stretch of river is being moved as part of an extreme makeover.

The River Trent runs through Stoke-on-Trent, but much of it is hidden behind industrial estates and out of sight of residents.

Described as "hideous" by the local wildlife trust, a 500m section is in the process of being rerouted by up to 150m from its current position.

The work is expected to improve access as well as habitats for fish and other wildlife.

"The current site is hideous, it's concrete slabs, flat-bottomed, not a natural bit to it. It is unsightly - that has been the feedback from local residents," Richard Guy from Staffordshire Wildlife Trust said.

The work has been given European funding and involves both the city council and wildlife trust

Image source, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust
Image caption,
The work is expected to be completed at the end of September

The £900,000 project has been several years in the making, from when Stoke City FC's old Victoria Ground, which stood in the path of the new route, was demolished in the 1990s.

Diggers started shifting soil from the end of April to make way for the new route of the river.

The banks are expected to be broken through when work is completed at the end of September, to allow the River Trent to flow down its new course.

Image source, Environment Agency
Image caption,
One of the aims of the project is to end up with more brown trout in the river

The new section will bypass two weirs, which the wildlife trust hopes will help fish like brown trout navigate upstream.

Trees removed to make way for the scheme will be replaced, with a new footpath laid to allow people to visit the area.

Image source, Environment Agency
Image caption,
Trees will be planted to replace ones removed to make way for the new channel
Image source, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust
Image caption,
Project manager Richard Guy said the scheme was "a big deal" for Stoke-on-Trent

Mr Guy said the work would transform the area for generations.

Messages posted on Staffordshire Wildlife Trust's Facebook page have been largely positive, praising its impact for wildlife and local residents.

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