People living and working along the River Nene, as well as boaters, are to benefit from work to remove weed from the river.
The Environment Agency started removing weed from a 100km stretch of river between Peterborough and Northampton on Monday 6 August. The works will help reduce the risk of flooding to homes and businesses along the river and maintain the navigation for boaters.
Malcolm Owers, Kettering Operations Delivery Field Team Leader, said: “Our work will ensure weed growth is kept in check on the River Nene which is a popular river with boaters. It will also reduce flood risk by helping the river to accommodate any increase in water level caused by heavy rainfall.
“However, some weed in our rivers is beneficial as it provides food, shelter and habitat so we have to be careful we do not harm wildlife. The decision to remove weed is a careful balancing act between flood risk management and the natural environment.”
Work on the River Nene is costing approximately £50,000 and should be completed by mid-October. It will help reduce flood risk to 4,150 homes and commercial properties as well as keeping the navigation channel clear.
The weed is being removed using weed harvesters. The machines cut, collect and place the cut weed onto the bank.
The work on the River Nene is just one part of the Environment Agency’s weed-cutting programme which takes place annually throughout Northamptonshire and beyond. The programme started in June and will continue until October.