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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 March 2006, 19:17 GMT
Broads scheme wins national award
Barton Broad in Norfolk
Barton Broad is the second largest of The Broads
A project to improve the water quality on Barton Broad in Norfolk has won a national award.

The Clear Water project to restore the inland waterways scooped the Natural Environment category sponsored by English Nature.

Andy Brown, chief executive of English Nature, said: "The results speak for themselves, clearer water, otters, more aquatic plants and kingfishers."

The project run by The Broads Authority used dredging to remove algae growth.

Suction dredging

Barton is the second largest of the Broads and the Clear Water project, which has been running since 1995, uses several innovative techniques in waterway conservation.

The project used suction dredging to remove nutrient rich mud from the bed of the broad to reduce phosphorus release which encourages algal growth.

The dredging encouraged the return of species as well as improving access for boating by deepening and widening heavily silted navigation channels.

A spokesperson for the judging panel noted: "Bio-manipulation has been used to create crystal clear waters around the margins of the broad and this has resulted in the return of aquatic plants and bird life."

The awards were established four years ago by The Waterways Trust and the British Urban Regeneration Association (BURA).

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