River’s fish population boosted by Tadcaster Bridge restoration

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Work to restore the bed and banks of the River Wharfe following the rebuilding of Tadcaster Bridge in the wake of the devastating floods has proved a major benefit for the fish population.

Since the bridge reopened in February, North Yorkshire County Council and its contractors have been back in the river completing works in the area.

During May they have been filling in scour holes and removing stones and debris that built up due to the floods, which hit on Boxing Day 2015, and subsequent restoration work.

Now it has emerged that the work has created gravelly channels in the river that have proved an ideal habitat for fish to spawn.

And with just one week’s work left to go, the authority has announced that it will postpone the remaining few tasks until the end of the course fishing closed season in the middle of this month.

North Yorkshire’s corporate director for business and environmental services, David Bowe, said: “We’re almost there but people started to notice all the fish in the gravelly channels and so we took Environment Agency’s advice and decided to hold off the few remaining tasks until after the fish have spawned.”

The county council will carry on resurfacing the bus station area and has applied for planning permission for street lighting on the bridge, which was rebuilt in just over a year.

Mr Bowe said: “We intend to create a recreational area which would include information boards which will tell the bridge’s history. We believe this would be a fitting legacy and tribute to Tadcaster and the resilience of its community during this difficult year.”