A project to open up the river Croal to migratory fish has been completed.

The £95,000 restoration 'Natural Course Project' along the river Tonge done by the Environment Agency, Groundwork Greater Manchester and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) has taken out a redundant weir in the river in Bolton.

The removal of this barrier makes it easier for adult fish to return to their natural spawning grounds as well allowing younger fish to migrate downstream and get ready to head out to sea once they have matured.

Carrie Wright, project manager for the Environment Agency, said: "Given the challenges that Greater Manchester’s rivers face - from our changing climate, historical pollution, population growth and increased water demand - now is the time to take action to ensure we have watercourses that will support future generations of wildlife and people.

"Projects such as this help restore the mosaic of habitats and natural river processes that are essential for a healthy river system. Healthy rivers and habitats encourage a cleaner environment which results in more diverse wildlife, making our green spaces even more attractive for all to enjoy.

"This restoration project is a great example of how partnership working can bring vital improvements to our urban watercourses to make them much more resilient to changing environmental conditions. It’s a great outcome for both people and for wildlife."

The removal of this disused weir on the River Tonge, Bolton, will help combat long-term declines in fish stocks and boost other wildlife.

Richard Clark, senior landscape architect at Groundwork, said: "It has been great to build on experience gained in river restoration with the partnership approach combining technical knowledge, ecological concerns and capital funding.

"The removal of this weir is another step towards a natural and healthy river system."

Mark Turner, natural course team leader at GMCA, added: "This is an excellent partnership project which has delivered a wide range of benefits. It has contributed to environmental targets for the River Croal, improved ecology for fish and other species and helped to reduce the risk of local flooding."