River restoration volunteers backed by West Suffolk councillor

Cllr Susan Glossop with volunteers working on the River Lark at Fullers Mill, West Stow. PICTURE: Andy Abbott

A group of volunteers working to improve a stretch of the River Lark to benefit wildlife were joined by councillor Susan Glossop at the weekend.

The River Lark Catchment Partnership (RLCP) has been working on a river restoration project at Fullers Mill Garden, in West Stow.

Susan Glossop, who represents the village on West Suffolk Council, has backed the project with £800 of her locality budget, which has been used to buy equipment including waders, buoyancy aids and safety glasses.

She said: “While the council is continuing to look at what it can to benefit our environment and climate change, it’s also important that we help encourage the work of our communities. I am delighted to support the work of this volunteer group which is trying to make the Lark and its green spaces a better place both for people and for wildlife. The group brings together people of all ages from the local community working as a team, forging friendships and raising awareness of the natural environment.”

The work being done at Fullers Mill is part of a series of restoration events contributing to Brecks Fen Edge and Rivers Landscape Partnership Scheme projects along the River Lark.

Glenn Smithson, restoration co-ordinator for RLCP, said: “We are pleased to have the support of councillor Glossop and others who have donated to make this exciting project possible as well of course as the fantastic work of all of our volunteers.

“At Fullers Mill we have been using soft engineering to improve the flow of the river discouraging burr reed growth, which once finished will benefit the habitat.”

All the work is being done by volunteers who are either members of RLCP or its associate member groups. Restoration work is planned along the length of the Lark from Bury St Edmunds to Mildenhall and is supported by the Environment Agency who have ultimate responsibility for the river, in particular, ensuring the work done does not increase flood risk. The partnership is fully insured and offers training to all volunteers at no cost to them. More information can be found at www.riverlark.org.uk

Additional funding has been provided by councillors Becky Hopfensperger and Sarah Broughton for the equipping of volunteers from the Fornhams Group of the RLCP.

Pictured above is Susan Glossop with members of The River Lark Catchment Partnership.

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