A BECK that has suffered from human building projects for more than a century is to be made more fish-friendly.

Using money from the Environment Agency, the Wear Rivers Trust (WRT) is to build a 2.5m-high rock ramp in Brancepeth Beck, near Durham, to allow fish to swim past a large stepped weir.

The 20m-long ramp will be at Brancepeth Castle Golf Course and will be ready by March.

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Over the last three years, 11 structures stopping fish re-colonising the once-heavily polluted beck have been identified.

Steve Hudson, senior project officer at the WRT, said: “We’re delighted that we’re finally able to begin addressing barriers to fish on the Brancepeth Beck.

“We’ve been working closely with landowners including Brancepeth Castle owner Alison Hobbs to design appropriate solutions.”

Paul Frear, from the Environment Agency, said: “This will lead to sustainable fish stocks and a better place for people and wildlife.”

A Brancepeth Castle Golf Club spokesman said: “We are concerned about the environmental pressures on the course and do our utmost to protect the environment within the boundaries of our grounds.

“We very much welcome the fact that we can help with this work and look forward to a time when we can pause from our golf to watch migrating fish tackle another challenge on our course.”

For more information on the Wear Rivers Trust, visit wear-rivers-trust.org.uk