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Work begins to clear debris from Durham's main weir

Published October 31, 2022 8.21am

Work is underway to remove debris from the main weir in Durham City.

Having received a licence from Natural England to carry out the works, we have begun clearing Framwellgate Weir of trees and shrubs.

Natural England's approval was required to ensure the protection of the natural habitat of an otter using the weir.

Clean-up underway

Diver cleaning weir

Fallen trees being removed from the weir by a specialist team

After constructing an alternative resting place for the otter, a specialist team has started to clear the weir, which was heavily affected by fallen trees and branches following previous storms.

Although this week's recent rainfall and increased water levels have made conditions more challenging, the team has successfully begun the clean-up operation and will continue working to clear the weir.  

We have committed to undertaking regular inspections following any future flooding and arranging further clean-up operations to minimise the collection of debris. This will be complemented by regular litter picks along the riverbanks to ensure the city's natural habitat remains clean.

One of many projects taking place 

Cllr John Shuttleworth, Cabinet member for highways, rural communities and community safety, said: "Durham is a beautiful city and we are committed to making visits here memorable for the right reasons. We understand that these fallen trees and shrubs have impacted on the river's appearance, and we can reassure residents and visitors that we will continue to undertake regular inspections to manage this.

"Looking after our city and its natural habitat is of utmost importance to us. We want everyone who lives, works in and visits Durham to be able to enjoy every aspect of their time here. This work is one of many projects taking place across the city to enhance that experience."

Earlier this year we announced a £1.4 million investment for the repair and maintenance of footpaths and road surfaces in Durham City.

A stretch of footpath has been refurbished and the carriageway resurfaced at Claypath. A specialist contractor has also carried out work at Durham Market Place, Magdalene Steps and Old Elvet Bridge to clean the city's public spaces. Footpath repair works have also been carried out in the Market Place.