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Nature River Mel Restoration Group (RMRG) A big thank-you to all those who joined members of the River Mel Restoration Group for the successful litter-pick on Saturday 22nd November 2008. We were extremely fortunate with the weather and the enthusiastic participation of forty volunteers collected seventeen bags of rubbish from in and around the River Mel in Melbourn. Special thanks must go to Greg Hall from RiverCare (an organisation jointly funded by Anglian Water, ENCAMS and the Environment Agency) who helped with the organisation of the event and provided all the safety-gloves and litter-picking equipment. The litter pick was the first step towards launching a restoration project on the River Mel in Melbourn. The RMRG has already undertaken res-

toration work on the River Mel in Meldreth. The Group is now looking to recruit volunteers from Melbourn to help carry out similar improvements to the River Mel where it flows through the grounds of Melbourn Village College and the Parish Recreation Ground. Why is this work so important? The Mel is a chalk river that supports significant populations of wild brown trout, bull head and water crowfoot. It is also arguably one of the best areas in South Cambridgeshire to see water voles. Over the years its chalk bed has silted up, threatening the existence of the species that depend on it. The improvements planned for the river are designed to speed the flow and will clear away the accumulation of silt to reveal the chalk

Water vole pictured on the Mel picture by Maureen Brierley

river bed again. This will lead to improved habitat for all its associated wildlife. Plans for the improvement works have been drawn up following detailed consultation with Melbourn Village College, Melbourn Parish Council, local landowners and the Ecology Officer from South Cambridgeshire

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57 Spring 2009  
57 Spring 2009  

2009 Melbourn Magazine 57

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