Water quality across East Anglia is set to benefit from work aimed at tackling invasive species in local watercourses.

Essex & Suffolk Water has awarded almost £15,000 to help fund an Invasive Non-Native Species (INNS) project run by Essex and Suffolk Rivers Trust.


The water company is very passionate about improving the environment, and its Branch Out scheme helps to deliver benefits for the natural environment, building resilience for the wildlife and people who are dependent on it. 


In the most recent round of INNS Branch Out funding £15,000 was awarded to Essex and Suffolk River Trust for its project which will look at invasive crayfish species. 


Andy Went, Project and Catchment Officer for Essex and Suffolk Rivers Trust said: “Several species of crayfish are found in UK freshwaters, however, only a single species, Austropotamobius pallipes, is native.


“This well-needed funding from Essex & Suffolk Water will help our project so that we can investigate and understand the status of native and non-native crayfish, using data collection, across three catchments including the Blackwater, Chelmer and Colne. These schemes allow for local action to protect native species and offer a platform for further investment into environmental projects.


Essex & Suffolk Water’s Conservation and Land Manager, Miranda Cooper, said: "We are passionate about improving the environment and it’s wonderful to see our Branch Out programme making such a positive difference. 


"Projects like this helps to build resilience, which is essential for supporting a healthy natural environment and for us to supply clear, great tasting drinking water. 


"It's fantastic we can support local groups, organisations and charities in helping to make a difference to the communities we serve. I'd urge anyone with a deserving project, who is seeking funding, to apply."


If you, or a local organisation, are involved in a project that supports improvements to the water environment or schemes such as the Queen’s Green Canopy project, then the Essex & Suffolk Water Branch Out fund might be able to help you. 


The Branch Out fund is open for applications until 30 August and the focused fund on Priority Habitats closes on 30 October, head to www.nwg.co.uk/responsibility/environment/branch-out-funds/branch-out/ to apply now.