New  life is being returned to the River Thame this Thursday as Thames Water

unveils major environmental improvements aimed at benefiting the local fish

habitat,  restoring and improving its health following a pollution incident

in 2002.

Parliamentary  Spokesperson  for  Angling,  Martin  Salter MP, will declare

works  on  the  river complete and welcome the arrival of new wildlife into

the  river  with representatives of the Thame Valley Fisheries Preservation

Consultative and the Environment Agency.

A  £250,000  project  has  enhanced  just under a mile (1.5km) of a popular

public  fishing  location  along  the  River  Thame, through the grounds of

Waddesdon Manor, near Aylesbury. Over the coming years 20,000 new fish will

be  reintroduced  into  the  river  with  the assistance of the Environment


Martin Salter MP, Parliamentary spokesperson for Angling said:

“Whilst  any pollution incident is to be regretted I am pleased that Thames

Water  is making such a significant contribution towards improving the fish

stocks  and  spawning grounds of this lovely little river.  This project is

giving Mother Nature a helping hand.”

Thames Water’s Director for Sustainability, Richard Aylard said:

“We  believe  this will make a tremendous contribution to the health of the

river  and  add  to  the  enjoyment  gained by its many users. This project

demonstrates  the  importance  Thames Water places on our responsibility to

the environment.”

A  number  of  new features have been incorporated into the enhancements to

the  river.  Fish  will have the benefit of new spawning grounds and refuge

channels to protect and encourage breeding. Five gravel bedded riffles have

been  created  to  encourage  diversification  of  fish species and provide

spawning sites.

Local  plant  and wildlife will also benefit from the improvement, with new

areas  to  stimulate  growth and nurture creatures such as water voles. The

enhancements will enable and foster up-stream fish migration, which has not

been possible for over 120 years.

Fish  introduced into the river will include: chub, roach, bream, perch and

gudgeon.  They  will  be  released  gradually  into  the  river  under  the

supervision of the Environment Agency.

The   project  has  been  joint  initiative  involving  Thames  Water,  the

Environment  Agency,  the Thame Valley Fisheries Preservation Consultative,

Waddesdon  Estate  and  the  Ernest  Cooke  Trust,  and follows a pollution

incident  at  Aylesbury  sewage  treatment  works in 2002 which damaged the

river habitat downstream. Since then efficiency and water quality discharge

standards  from  the  sewage  works  have  been  vastly  improved  enabling

enhancements to the river to be undertaken.