SALMON could be returning to the River Hyndburn thanks to a new £128,000 river improvement scheme.

The improvements between Clayton-le-Moors and Great Harwood will help migrating salmon, trout and eels bypass a historic weir.

This means they will be able to reach habitat inaccessible since at least 1844 when the weir supplied water for the Oakenshaw Printworks.

A specially designed channel will be constructed to bypass the weir, transforming 1.3km of river.

The channel will be complemented by education projects in schools and 1.24 hectares of new woodland to be planted by volunteers later this year.

Cllr Ken Moss, Hyndburn Borough Council portfolio holder for education, leisure and arts, said: “In Hyndburn our rivers, woodlands and public spaces are often overlooked, yet they are fantastic.

“This project will make a huge difference at Oakenshaw Weir, and it will be great to see the work the schools and volunteers achieve.

“I’m also looking forward to the follow-on projects, and getting Salmon upstream to Accrington.”

The project is a flagship scheme within the Ribble Life Together programme which delivers a healthier river system for the benefit and enjoyment of local communities and wildlife.

The Ribble Rivers Trust is leading the project, working in partnership with The Prospects Foundation, Hyndburn Council and community representatives.

The £128,000 project has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Environment Agency, an EU Life funded project called Natural Course and the Windfall Fund which is a partnership between Energie Kontor and The Prospects Foundation.

Alison Silver, Windfall Fund grant manager, said: “We’re really proud to be supporting this scheme and have been looking forward to it starting.

“As well as improving and celebrating the natural heritage of the Hyndburn Brook, it will inspire the local community and leave a positive legacy in our local area.”

The Ribble Life Together project aims to improve water quality and reduce the risk of flooding.

For more information visit or call 01200 444452.