A GRANT of over £1 million has been awarded to a scheme to massively improved the meandering River Monnow.

The River Monnow Project is thought to be one of the largest catchment-based river habitat restoration projects ever undertaken in the UK.
The project, which has attracted a grant worth £1.1m from a Defra Rural Enterprise scheme, will be launched on 7th April, when work will start on restoring 30km of the River Monnow and its tributaries on the English/Welsh border in Herefordshire.
The River Monnow was once one of the most productive trout rivers in England, but over the last thirty years it has seen substantial declines in important wildlife species including wild trout and grayling populations. It does however hold a good stock of coarse fish including some large chub.
The restoration project, which includes the collaboration of over 90 farmers, is a partnership between The Game Conservancy Trust, The Wild Trout Trust the Salmon and Trout Association, The Grayling Society and The Monnow Fisheries Association and The Environment Agency in Wales
The partnership is initiating a range of improvement measures that will not only reverse the decline of wild brown trout, grayling and other threatened wildlife it will also give a major boost to the local economy through increased tourism from fishing.
The project has come at a time when dramatic reductions in agricultural incomes have created an urgent need to identify environmentally sustainable diversification opportunities for farmers to improve the local economy and the project should achieve this aim.
On Monday 7th April, representatives the River Monnow Project, Defra and The
Game Conservancy Trust, will be visiting the River Monnow to officially launch the project. 

A small section of river has already been restored and the results of this can be compared with degraded areas of river. 

Commented Total Fishing editor Gareth Purnell: “I fished the River Monnow many times as a lad under the Birmingham Anglers Association ticket. I recall it as a lovely river with some great coarse fishing and in fact caught my first ever carp there – a wildie weighing about 4lb. This sounds like good news all round and I hope the BAA still has its waters there.”

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