£90k plan to restore river bank and create a haven for wildlife

This is the section of the Silverburn River, in Castletown, where the work would be carried out if planners approve the application

This is the section of the Silverburn River, in Castletown, where the work would be carried out if planners approve the application

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Plans have been submitted for a £90,000 scheme to restore a section of river bank on the Silverburn in Castletown and create a habitat for local wildlife.

The Department of Infrastructure wants to restore the river bank along the Qualtrough’s Yard side of the river in the town and to install Stoney Mountain yellow granite rock armour to protect it.

The proposed work would also see two mid-channel islands being created in the river to provide a habitat for wildlife such as geese.

A Department of Infrastructure spokesman told the Manx Independent: ‘The Qualtrough’s Yard side river back will be reconstructed with a medium sized rock armour revetment.

‘Much of the current vegetation will be removed and replaced with a manageable grassy area.

‘The area is currently extremely overgrown, difficult to maintain and has become a nesting area for geese.

‘The works aim to reclaim this river side embankment so that it can be easily maintained and enjoyed by the public throughout the year.’

Once completed, it is envisaged that a picnic area would be created on the grass area.

Explaining why the work was necessary, the spokesman said: ‘The area is currently run down, difficult to maintain and unsightly.

‘The proposed works aims to improve the appearance of the area while maintaining an attractive wildlife habitat with the addition of artificial islands.’

The aim of the two islands is to provide an alternative nesting site for the geese and other bird species.

The Manx Wildlife Trust has been consulted since the start of the project to ensure that a suitable wildlife habitat is maintained.

And the charity has provided the DoI with an extensive list of plant species and shrubbery that would be planted to encourage birds to nest on the islands.

Also included in the proposal is for a wooden viewing platform with stainless steel safety wire to be installed on the Victoria Road side of the river, leading to a riverside walkway.

The department has applied (14/00894/B) for the embankment to be reconstructed up to the slipway on Victoria Road.

But the spokesman said: ‘If the project proves a success, potential to continue the works up to the bridge and through to Poulsom Park may be possible and is something that can be looked at in the future.’

Preliminary costs were estimated at £90,000,.

The department will confirm a start date for the works when planning approval is granted.

The source of the Silverburn is in St Mark’s. It flows into the sea in Castletown.

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