National Highways’ funding stream helps fish cross road


England’s National Highways’ new funding stream will help fish and other creatures cross the the A38 in Devon.

Just in time for the autumn migration season for salmon, National Highways, as part of its commitment to reduce the impact of its roads on the environment, has funded a £168,000 improvement scheme to modify a culvert under the A38 road near Newton Abbot.

The culvert carries the River Lemon under the dual carriageway but following studies by the Environment Agency and environmental charity Westcountry Rivers Trust, it was found that fish were unable to navigate the culvert to reach their traditional spawning grounds.

Mark Fox, National Highways’ Head of Scheme Delivery for the South West, said: “At National Highways, our work goes beyond operating, maintaining and improving roads, and through our Environmental and Well-Being Designated Funds, we’re investing in the environment and communities surrounding our network.

“We’ve worked closely with the Environment Agency and Westcountry Rivers Trust, together with Kier, Fishtek Consulting, ID Verde and Castleford Engineering, to realise this project which will help support aquatic biodiversity at a location close to the A38.

“It also underlines our commitment to reducing the impact of our roads on the environment. In this case by modifying a structure originally provided during the construction of the road,” he added on October 5.

The under road scheme has involved some low cost, low maintenance solutions – the installation of large oak baffles and the creation of small pools – to help bigger fish and eels to navigate the sloped culvert and for smaller fish to swim up in sections.

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Deirdre Tynan

Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.


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