Tender to help us create the Great North Fen

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19. Bishop's Fen, looking south from disused railway

We’re seeking contractors to help us deliver the Great North Fen!. See below for details. 

Closing date: Tuesday 19th March 2024

At £3.5 million, Discover Brightwater is Durham Wildlife Trust’s biggest project to date. We are the programme leaders for this Landscape Partnership which involves 19 different project streams including river habitat improvements, wetland creation, heritage and archaeology involving local communities around the River Skerne catchment from the Trimdons to Darlington in the south and Shildon in the west.

The Great North Fen is an ambitious vision to return large areas of what was once expansive wetlands, home to a vast array of wildlife, back to a connected, functioning wider wetland landscape. Much of this important habitat has disappeared from the local landscape of the Skerne, drained by industry and agriculture. River channels have been modified and straightened, whilst mine water pumps have kept the ground water aquifer below its natural level.

Today pumping has ceased, returning natural ground water levels, whilst extreme rainfall events, now more common, see the low lying farmland of the Skerne flooding more regularly. A store for water that would otherwise exacerbate flooding to urban areas downstream.

Durham Wildlife Trust is seeking to restore lost features in the River Skerne catchment by creating new areas of wetland and restoring canalised sections of the river channel through the Great North Fen project. The objectives of the Great North Fen project include implementing actions in the Skerne catchment to restore priority wetland habitats including floodplain grazing marsh and lowland fens, and river habitats, based on working with natural processes and natural flood management principles to ensure self-sustaining improvements and resilience, as well as working with landowners and stakeholders to facilitate the delivery of legacy habitat enhancement work beyond the end of the delivery phase of the project.

We are now looking for suitably experienced contractors to help us deliver our first Great North Fen restoration projects. These wetland creation and conservation projects are planned to happen this spring and summer and are at two sites by the River Skerne.

Bishop’s Fen is an area just to the east of the A1M north of Hardwick Park and Ricknall Carrs lies just east of Newton Aycliffe where the East Coast Mainline intersects with the A1M.

You can find and download full details of both projects here:

Click here to download the Bishops Fen Tender Pack

Click here to download the Ricknall Carrs Tender Pack

The closing date for tenders is 5.00pm Tuesday March 19th 2024

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