A project to improve the water quality in the River Freshney in Grimsby has been finished, with more than 2,000 tonnes of silt being removed from the riverbed in just four weeks.
Ebsford Environmental, a specialist contractor, were appointed by North East Lincolnshire Council to complete dredging of the river between West Haven Maltings opposite Frederick Ward Way and the ABP pumping station in the town centre of Grimsby.
The works, which started in January 2022, were part of a £3.7 million Garth Lane site scheme funded by central government through the Town Deal and the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership.
122 lorry loads of silt and sediment were taken from the riverbed and removed off site for recovery, in order to meet Environment Agency regulations.
As well as this, 1.5 tonnes of scrap metal, such as bikes, shopping trollies and scaffold pipes, were taken from the river and recycled at the local plant in Immingham.
Works to this section of the river has allowed for the water to flow much more freely through the town centre, reaching channel depths of around 1.8m and maintaining established vegetation to benefit wildlife.
Cllr Stewart Swinburn, Cabinet member for the environment at North East Lincolnshire Council, said: “This work has been done as one of the final stages of the Garth Lane project, one that’s already seen a major site in the centre of Grimsby transformed into a lovely natural area.
“We’ve already seen an improvement in the water quality and flow. We’ve also seen the family of otters around in the last few days, which is encouraging. The dredging will boost biodiversity and make the river more useable for years to come.”
Cllr Callum Procter, Cabinet member for economic growth, added: “This is a huge investment in our river – for years, we’ve turned our back on the waterfront, and it’s now time to embrace it and all that it might offer.
“Investing in clearing up the river is the first stage, and along with the Youth Zone project and the Towns Fund projects nearby, I’m looking forward to seeing the waterfront develop into a vibrant place in the future.”