National Highways have announced they will be investing £450,000 in a scheme to improve the movement of fish on the River Ashburn alongside the A38.
Westcountry Rivers Trust and the Environment Agency have identified an issue whereby fish – including salmon and eels – are unable to move upstream due to the four stepped weirs close to the A38 eastbound entry slip road at Buckfastleigh.
National Highways is therefore using money from its Environment and Wellbeing Fund to adapt the weirs to enable fish to navigate their way upstream to their traditional spawning grounds.
The project will support aquatic biodiversity close to the A38, modifying a structure originally provided during the construction of the road.
The area around the weirs is an environmentally significant location, sitting within the National Park. The verges around the A38 eastbound entry slip road at Dart Bridge contain species-rich grassland of county-wide importance, and are also home to rare orchids.
As the location also sits within a bat conservation area, no overnight work will be taking place to avoid disturbing bat activity.
The programme will require daytime closures of the A38 entry slip road on weekdays, with a short local diversion route in place to allow National Highways to manage construction and help teams protect the natural habitat. These closures will be lifted at weekends.