13 November 1998

Bid to protect watercourse

FARMERS along a stretch of the Upper Derwent river in North Yorks may be asked to fence areas of land to prevent stock gaining access to the watercourse.

Although no decisions have yet been taken, the measure is one of a package being considered as part of a £220,000 three-year conservation project to safeguard and improve the Upper Derwents wild- life and environmental quality.

The projects work will be directed by a steering group involving members of the local community and project partners, including the North Yorks Moors National Park Authority, English Nature, and the Environment Agency.

Project officer Keir Brown said one problem already identified was excessive siltation. One way to deal with that was to minimise the amount of silt entering the river by, for example, fencing off banks from stock to reduce bank erosion.

According to the National Park Authority, grant aid may be available once management agreements have been drawn up. &#42