£110m revamp planned for England's rivers

Environment secretary Caroline Spelman has revealed that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is to invest £110m in overhauling England's rivers.  The funding is to be used to launch restoration schemes worth £600m across the country in a bid to improve the health of more than 800 lakes, steams and other waterways.

A total of £92m is planned over the next four years to remove non-native invasive weeds and animals, as well as to clean up pollution and to remove redundant dams, weirs and landings.

Cash will be shared by the Environment Agency, Natural England and organisations such as the Association of Rivers Trust in order to build on existing projects.

A further £18m is to go towards helping farmers put in place measures such as buffer strips and fences to protect water courses and to prevent agricultural pollution.

Spelman said: "With this funding, we'll help all our waterways and streams thrive by tackling problems that until now have been sitting in the 'too hard' basket."