Work has begun on a £48,000 project to improve the River Nene at Duston Mill in Northampton.
The work aims to improve the river, which was affected by low flows following a drought two years ago, by increasing the movement of water through the channel.
The work will also improve wildlife habitats and create more diverse water flows, which will benefit the large population of fish, aquatic invertebrates and other wildlife, which suffered a decline in the drought.
Rob Pitkin, from the Environment Agency, said: “Biological monitoring showed the river and its wildlife had been affected by low flows.
“Our project will help to improve the river for wildlife and people who live nearby or use the Wildlife Trust’s nature reserves.
“It will also help the river to cope better with any future droughts and with climate change.”
Work on the project began last week and will take around four weeks to complete.
The project is being carried out by the Environment Agency, the River Nene Regional Park, the Wildlife Trust, the River Restoration Centre and Northampton Borough Council.
Simon Whitton, from the Nene Valley Nature Improvement Area group (NIA), added: “It’s brilliant that this project can showcase habitat enhancement techniques in an urban area.
“Along with Duston, we’re now looking for more sites on the Nene for enhancement projects”.
The project is one example of Northampton’s rivers being improved.
People are also being asked for their views on the future of rivers and what should be done to improve them through the ‘Challenges and Choices’ consultation by the Environment Agency.
The consultation runs until December 22 and is open to everyone. People can have their say online at www. environmentagency.gov.uk/challengesandchoices, or by email, fax or letter.
Links to the consultation can also be found on Twitter and the Environment Agency’s Facebook pages.