New project manager to monitor bay

Richard Cooper.
Richard Cooper.
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A new conservation initiative has appointed a project manager to oversee a million pound programme to improve the rivers around Morecambe Bay.

Richard Cooper has been recruited by the Source to Sea programme to manage a series of projects designed to tackle the causes of water pollution in the rivers and tributaries flowing into Morecambe Bay and to improve the land around these watercourses known as catchments.

His role will also embrace promoting the creation of new woodland along riversides and watercourses to help meet the scheme’s goals.

Around Morecambe Bay, the water quality of the rivers has been affected by pollution from their catchments and man-made modifications, which have also caused impediments to fish movement.

Poor water quality has a detrimental effect on a range of wetland wildlife from insects and fish to birds and mammals, as well as on local people.

By addressing these problems the land can also be made more resilient to drought and flood conditions.

Source to Sea is a partnership programme between the RSPB, Lune Rivers Trust, Cumbria Wildlife Trust, Cumbria Woodlands, Morecambe Bay Partnership, and the Arnside and Silverdale AONB Partnership, with support from the Environment Agency, Natural England and the Forestry Commission.

The programme is funded by the Government’s Catchment Restoration Fund, following a successful £1.1million bid by Source to Sea to the Environment Agency.

Richard Cooper comes to his new role with nearly two decades of experience working in conservation.

He said: “Morecambe Bay is a wonderful area of natural beauty and is teeming with amazing wildlife so I am excited about being able to play a role in its conservation.

“By working together to improve the water quality of the rivers and streams around Morecambe Bay we will be able to make it an even better place for people and wildlife.”