Green scheme to be unveiled
A new scheme predominantly designed to improve the ecology and sustainability of the River Tavy, is to be officially opened by the Mayor of Tavistock on Friday 11 January.
The River Tavy is a key habitat for migrating salmon and is protected by a 'salmon action plan', which helps the Environment Agency decide how best to boost fish numbers. The Tavy feeds Mary Tavy and Morwellham hydro power stations, two of South West Water's most productive sources of green renewable energy in the region.
The Abbey Weir fish screen was a joint partnership project between South West Water and the Environment Agency and the improved system became operational just before Christmas.
The modifications mean that younger, smaller fish can no longer become trapped in the leat system that serves the hydro power stations. The new weir will also ease the upstream migration.
South West Water's Operations Director, Dr Stephen Bird said: "This is just one of several strands of work we are progressing that help to promote sustainable thinking.
"These improvements will also help to secure the future of the renewable power produced by South West Water's hydro plants, which combined produce enough clean green energy for over 4,000 homes."
"The scheme is part of a broader Environment Agency initiative to improve the ecology of the River Tavy and protect salmon stocks, which are widely regarded as a key indicator of the health of a river," said Bruce Newport for the Environment Agency.
"The newly constructed weir will mean young salmon cannot go into the hydropower intakes, making this green energy even more environmentally friendly. These changes are of fundamental importance to the recovery of salmon stocks in the Tavy and we are very pleased that South West Water were so pro active with this initiative."
Following public consultation, an application for planning permission was recently submitted for a similar joint partnership river improvement scheme at Hillbridge Weir near Peter Tavy.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Please note that Dr Stephen Bird, Operations Director and Steve Cryer, Hydro Manager (both SWW) will be available for comment if required following the ceremony, which takes place at 11am at Abbey Weir in Tavistock.