BARNSLEY Council is hoping that improvement work to the River Dearne will bring salmon back to the area. 

A total of £54,600 will be allocated to assist with the project, which is being led by Don Catchment Rivers Trust, working in partnership with the Dearne Valley Landscape Partnership (DVLP).

Work will involve modifying the watercourse and introducing baffles to create a more natural route with better river velocity, which in turn increases the depth and with it the biodiversity of the river.

The removal of physical barriers at a critical point on the river will allow passage for migrating fish, and create habitats for diverse fauna and flora.

Other benefits include preventing harmful bank erosion and improving overall water quality.

Coun Roy Miller said: “It has taken decades for the water quality to improve, but it has done and wildlife has started to return; salmon were spotted recently in the Dearne for the first time in 150 years as a direct result of this kind of work."