£1m. bid to bring otters, kingfishers and salmon to Burnley town centre rivers

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A BURNLEY environmental project which aims to return salmon and otters to the town’s rivers, is hoping for a £1m. boost.

Plans are already under way to provide new habitats for riverine species which could see otters, kingfishers and dippers back in waterways around the town centre.

The Urban River Enhancement Scheme has already been granted £81,000 in Heritage Lottery money to fund projects along the rivers Calder and Brun.

But if successful the group, which is part of the Ribble Rivers Trust, could secure a million-pound sum which leaders hope will bring rivers to life in Burnley.

Environmentalists say water quality in the Brun and Calder is the best it has been for decades but leaders believe the investment could improve the rivers even further.

Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle, who recently took a tour of the rivers, said: “The work done on these waterways is nothing short of remarkable. The fantastic work being done by the Ribble Rivers Trust will ensure that Burnley’s rivers continue to get cleaner and cleaner, and that fish and other wildlife flourishes – superb news for our town.”

A lot of the work will be seen along the 2.2km “raceway” of river beds made of cobbles or concrete in the town - including semi-natural habitats for fish and invertebrate species.