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Restoration scheme wins planning award

Published: Tuesday 12 December 2017

Restoration scheme wins planning award

A pioneering river restoration project has scooped a prestigious planning award for the New Forest.

The prize was presented during the regional award ceremony of the Royal Town Planning Institute’s (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence.

The restoration of Wootton River near Burley was rewarded with the Excellence in Planning for the Natural Environment award for its work to restore 2.5 miles of artificially straightened river to its natural meandering route.

This work is part of a wider scheme of wetland restoration across the New Forest, funded by the New Forest Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) Scheme. This is the largest environmental improvement scheme in England and is restoring internationally-important habitats throughout the National Park.

Running for 40 years, the RTPI Awards are the most respected awards in the UK planning industry and celebrate exceptional examples of planning and the contribution planners make to society.

HLS Contract Manager for the Forestry Commission Nick Wardlaw, said: ‘It was a real credit to win this award - the Natural Environment category received a considerable number of projects with high merit, so it’s great recognition for the project.

'I’m delighted on behalf of my colleagues, and Mott MacDonald involved in the planning to restore Wootton Riverine back to its natural meandering route. It’s a truly collaborative project between many partner organisations, who are working towards conserving the New Forest’s unique natural environment.’