Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Waterway gets help from amphibious machine

An amphibious Truxor machine will be brought in by Ebsford Environmental to help regenerate Bottesford Beck near Scunthorpe in a project starting next month.

This amphibious machine can carry out de-weeding on land and desilting and dredging works in the beck, and will desilt the downstream end of the Beck where there is heavy silt levels possibly inflowing from the River Trent. The full length of the Beck will also be de-weeded. It is expected these works will start in August.

In February The Friends of The Beck received a £76,000 grant for ‘Paths for Communities’ from Natural England. This was used to improve the path along Bottesford Beck; it was also used to create a car park, footbridge and boardwalk through to Ashbyville Local Nature Reserve. The new path is part of the new Ironstone Way.

This grant not only improved existing footpaths but will create new ones. Access for all from the outskirts of Scunthorpe and the new residential area will be provided into more rural parts of North Lincolnshire.

This community-led project has the support of the Environment Agency and the Local Access Forum.

Cllr Neil Poole, cabinet member for policy and resources, says: “Bringing in the TRUXOR machine to help with this project is extremely advantageous for us as it rules out the need for a large machine running alongside the beck and damaging the banks – more specifically not damaging the newly constructed path. 

“We have recently given the machine a trial run and it was a huge success. This will be used to carry out the main body of the desilting works. It will greatly improve the flow of the Beck and overall the look of the area.

“Some fantastic work has already been carried out at Bottesford Beck that has really brought the area back to life. With the Natural England funding it means that even more development works can be undertaken to improve the appearance of Bottesford Beck and make it more accessible. We are seeing more and more people venturing out to the Beck, which is fantastic. I am looking forward to seeing further improvements.”

Margaret Armiger from The Friends of the Beck, says: “Established two years ago, The Friends of the Beck very soon recognised that with good management Bottesford Beck was a spectacular jewel. Magnificently supported by North Lincolnshire Council, Bottesford Council, the Environment Agency and significant others, the group worked tirelessly to create a linear park from Messingham Road right down to the lake and nature reserve beside the A18 dual carriageway.

“Whilst being happy to undertake work to improve the river, more was needed to improve the condition of the Beck which is the main drain for the whole of Scunthorpe. At the request of the Friends of the Beck, North Lincolnshire Council set about researching the most suitable method of improving the flow of the river without too much disturbance to the wildlife and the ecological balance, of which there is much to be enjoyed.

“The TRUXOR machine operating from within the river does not disturb the banks or the path but allows those areas needing de-weeding and/or desilting to be managed appropriately. The completion of the work will be the final, but most important, procedure creating the splendid, tranquil parkland to the south of Scunthorpe, of which those involved are all so proud. It is there for the public to come to visit and enjoy.”

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