Test Valley Borough Council will begin work on the next stage of the River Anton Enhancement Strategy on 20 October to improve the river’s wildlife.
As one of Andover’s most valuable natural features, the River Anton attracts a wealth of wildlife including otters, trout and water vole. The restoration work will include thinning trees along the footpath at Western Avenue to improve views while increasing light levels. The additional daylight will allow plants to provide food and an attractive habitat for species such as water vole.
The work will be carried out in partnership with Andover College and the Wild Trout Trust. Students from the college will install logs to change the water’s movement and help clean the gravel bed. The logs will also provide areas for bankside vegetation to grow.
The health of the River Anton has gone from strength to strength in recent years and otters in particular have become a regular occurrence throughout the river. A healthy population is now in residence with individuals breeding successfully over the past two years.
Community and Leisure Portfolio Holder, Councillor Tony Ward, said: “The work to the river and its surroundings is vital so that we can ensure there is maximum opportunity for wildlife to flourish. We are very fortunate to have such a beautiful river flowing through the town and it is wonderful to see that it also attracts so much wildlife.”
The project aims to help achieve the enhancement strategy’s key objectives to improve the river wildlife, improve public access and involve the community in projects to enhance the River Anton.
For further information about the project or to find out how you can become a conservation volunteer, visit www.testvalley.gov.uk.