The Parks Trust, the self-funding charity that cares for Milton Keynes’ parks and green spaces, has partnered with the Environment Agency to introduce 2,000 dace to Milton Keynes waterways.
The fish were released after considerable developments to sections of the River Ouzel near Walton Hall, and the Great Ouse on the Passenham/Millfield section, as part of an ongoing project to address the balance of the fish population in rivers of Milton Keynes.
Gravel deflectors, which improve spawning opportunities and the river habitat by offering different depth and flow, were installed in the section of river near Walton Hall.
These deflectors also provide areas for fish to safely hide in during times of high flow.
Once this work was complete, 1,000 dace, small, active freshwater fish of the carp family, were released into the water.
A further 1,000 dace were introduced into the water in Passenham after the back channel of the river was opened up.
The Parks Trust has contributed a total of £17,000 to these two schemes, assisting with the operational side of the project while the Environment Agency has focused on the technical aspects.
Rob Riekie, landscape and operations director at the Parks Trust, said: “The introduction of these 2,000 dace is the culmination of months of work by the Environment Agency and us to help improve fish populations in Milton Keynes.
“The positive impact of this project will increase over a period of years, but the dace will give the depleted stocks of young fish in the area a much-needed kick-start.
“Our partnership with the Environment Agency has been a real success, with our operational skills complementing their technical and legislative abilities. “It’s been great to work with them on this and we look forward to continuing the project elsewhere in Milton Keynes.”
The next stage of the project is due to take place at Woughton on the Green during the autumn, with a section of an old channel opened up to create a refuge point for fish at times of high flows/river levels and flooding.