Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland floods: Half a million pounds for rivers

Floods from above in Campsie, County Londonderry Image copyright Gary McCall
Image caption Floods from above in Campsie, County Londonderry

Half a million pounds is to be spent fixing rivers in the north west of Northern Ireland which were badly affected by flash floods last August.

The Loughs Agency will spend the money re-setting the courses of four rivers which overflowed their banks.

Some of it will also be used to remove debris and manage overhanging trees.

Fences will be erected along the banks to keep grazing animals out and improve water quality.

About 60km of fencing will be put up and 5,000 tonnes of rock armour - stone reinforcements - will be used to restore flood defences.

The focus of the work will be on four rivers, the Glenelly, the Faughan, the Owenkillew and the Burndenett.

Image copyright Daniel O'Connell
Image caption Flooding in Whitehouse near Londonderry in August 2017

The money is being made available by the Department of Agriculture and Environment (DAERA).

DAERA permanent secretary Denis McMahon said the work would also support the farming community.

"The benefits arising from these remedial works will contribute to the ecology and water quality of the watercourses affected and will also assist farmers affected by the flooding, including through fencing for stock control, reduction of unwanted sediment deposition and prevention of further bankside erosion and resultant loss of grazing," he said.

Loughs Agency representative Sharon McMahon said the main aim of the work was to improve the rivers for fishery management.

"But it will also provide a positive effect on the economic, social and environmental area of the Foyle catchment," she said.

"These works will stabilise river banks and reduce erosion and downstream deposition, ensuring that spawning and invertebrate habitats are safeguarded for the future."

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