Today (Friday 18 September), Natural Resources Wales (NRW) launches its multi-million pound river restoration project to transform the River Dee and its surroundings, to help improve declining fish populations and rare wildlife in the area.
The £6.8 million, cross-border project will bring multiple benefits to the environment, particularly improving the numbers of salmon, lamprey and freshwater pearl mussels, helping them become more sustainable in the future.
With a catchment area of more than 695 square miles (1,800 km), the Dee is one of the most highly regulated rivers in Europe. Along with Llyn Tegid (Bala Lake) it has been designated a Special Area of Conservation (SAC).
Conservation work carried out during the project will help the entire river ecosystem, by improving fish migration, biodiversity, and habitats for birds and mammals. It will also improve water quality and the safety of recreational use.
Working in partnership with local communities, landowners and contractors, the project will include weir removals, constructing fish passages, improving the river channel, and adapting farming and forestry practices. It will also focus on rearing and releasing the critically-endangered freshwater pearl mussel, until the population is re-established.