Wiltshire Wildlife Trust is to enhance the Clackers Brook in Melksham for the benefit of wildlife and people living around Queensway Bridge.

The Trust says the project will address the ecological challenges facing the brook and improve its overall water quality and biodiversity.

Alice Eley, head of freshwater at Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, said: "We are excited to embark on this project to restore the Clackers Brook.

“This initiative is a big step towards revitalising the brook's ecological health and creating a thriving environment for both wildlife and people.

“By enhancing the habitat with native wildflowers and diverse vegetation, we hope to attract a greater variety of birds, insects, and other animals, whilst also providing a picturesque and accessible green space for the local community to connect with nature."

The upper reach of Clackers Brook in Melksham. The upper reach of Clackers Brook in Melksham. (Image: Wiltshire Wildlife Trust)

Tracy Predeth, town clerk at Melksham Town Council, said: “Melksham Town Council voted to support this project when it was first put forward.

“We are delighted that this work is being undertaken to the benefit of wildlife and Melksham residents.”

WWT says that rivers, brooks, and streams like the Clackers Brook are vital lifelines for a wide array of wildlife, providing essential habitat for many species, including iconic birds like kingfishers and mammals like the endangered water vole.

However, the Clackers Brook has been assessed as ecologically "poor" under the Water Framework Directive, legislation aimed at improving and protecting the quality of water bodies.

This classification indicates that the brook's ecological health is significantly impaired and requires restoration efforts to improve its biodiversity and overall functionality.

To tackle this, WWT has developed designs to create habitats in the brook’s banks, creating a high-quality green space for both wildlife and the public.

The project will involve re-profiling four small sections of the riverbank to create marginal areas suitable for planting native wildflowers.

By re-profiling the riverbank, the project will create wider and more gradual marginal areas, which are essential for supporting a rich and diverse ecosystem.

The designs have been produced in collaboration with Wiltshire Council, Selwood Housing, and Melksham Town Council, and have received the necessary planning permissions and environmental permits.

Work is expected to begin in early July, starting with excavations, with an anticipated completion time of one week. Following the works, a volunteering event will be held for the planting of native species.

To find out more, visit wiltshirewildlife.org/restoring-clackers-brook.