03 Mar River Rede Improvement Plan
The River Rede, together with the River North Tyne is one of the only places in England which supports a significant population of fresh water pearl mussel, some of which are over a hundred years old. Current monitoring of fresh water pearl mussels indicates that the population is failing to breed and is in decline, with various theories of why this is happening. The river also supports populations of migratory Atlantic salmon and brown trout, essential to the early life (glochidial/larvae) stage of the fresh water pearl mussel. Kingfisher, dipper and heron can all be found along the River Rede. Otters, a European protected species, are widespread on the River Rede and most tributaries.
A river improvement plan was undertaken in autumn 2016 which identified a number of interventions on the Rede and its tributaries to improve the general health of the river and to benefit the conservation and recovery of the freshwater pearl mussel. One of the key issues in recent years has been the long term impact from previous dredging and drainage which has increased the sediment load in the river and impacts from diffuse pollution. A number of schemes have been developed for the Rede and some of its tributaries, which will seek to re-establish natural river processes and will include the creation of new wetland areas, new areas of river bank planting to stabilise embankments, fencing of the river to prevent cattle entering the water, and re-creation of rapid and riffle features in some sections of the river.