A TRUST has just completed its first projects to restore Blackburn’s rivers and open up more habitat for aquatic wildlife around the town.

Bypass channels have been constructed alongside two large weirs near Hoghton Bottoms and Lower Darwen to allow fish like trout and eels to access 18 hectares of upstream river habitat for the first time in decades.

The Ribble Rivers Trust has been awarded grants from the European Regional Development Fund and the Heritage Lottery Fund (as part of its Ribble Life Together project), to deliver a programme of works to ‘re-naturalise’ and improve parts of the River Darwen and the River Roddlesworth at Feniscowles.

The weirs were originally built to provide local mills with a water supply. The mills have since been demolished.

Restoration work is also planned for a section of the River Roddlesworth near Feniscowles next year.

Jack Spees, the trust’s chief executive, said: “This work doesn’t just benefit aquatic animals, it’s good news for the people who live around Blackburn and Darwen too.We hope this will encourage more people to visit, enjoy and value the rivers of Blackburn”.