Northumbrian Water has announced that it is to embark on a £2.5 million upgrade to its sewerage network in a County Durham town next month.
Working in conjunction with Natural England, the company will start the project on Monday September 12, 2016 and will run until May next year.
Involved in the work will be the replacement of the existing pipework, which is currently in a poor state of repair and is at risk of causing pollution in the Castle Eden Dene National Nature Reserve near Peterlee.
The scheme will also see Northumbrian Water remove non-native trees, which were planted in the reserve some 40 years ago. The company said that this will “maximise benefits” for wildlife by reshaping the natural environment.
The project will also see entrances and exits created from Durham Way to access the land on the north side of Castle Eden Dene. Once work has been completed, Northumbrian Water will work with Natural England to restore these.
Sean Barry, Project Manager at Northumbrian Water, said that the project will help to protect the Dene from future pollution risks, along with the burn that runs through it.
Barry added: “As someone who grew up in the area and still lives close to Castle Eden Dene, I know how important the conservation of the site is to residents and visitors, so while this is a delicate project, it will be handled with care and I look forward to leaving the dene ready for the return and resurgence of its natural species.”
Meanwhile, Chris Evans, Senior Reserve Manager at Natural England, said that the scheme is a good example of how Natural England is working in conjunction with Northumbrian Water throughout the North East.
Evans continued: “We will be working closely with their team and are confident there will be real benefits for wildlife on the site once works are complete.”