A river restoration project manager has received a national award for one of his projects.
Olly Southgate, 32, from Londesborough, collected a Natural Environment Project of the Year accolade at the Living Waterways Awards ceremony, held in Leeds, for his river restoration project in Manchester, which beat off stiff competition from other regeneration and environmental projects.
Olly’s project involves restoring and tackling the world’s first industrial river, the River Irwell, which flows through the heart of the city. The river has numerous large weirs and barriers left behind by the city’s industrial revolution which are now impacting on the wildlife and fish living in many areas of the river.
Olly has removed 19 huge barriers from the river in only three years, which has already improved the habitat on more than 20km of previously constrained and castrated river corridor.
Earlier this year Olly picked up a Highly Commended accolade at the English River Prize award ceremony for the same project.
He said: “Well these last six months have been truly epic and overwhelming. May be peoples fortunes can turn around. For my work to finally be recognised at the very highest level is such an honour and I will always be a proud East Yorkshire lad regardless of which direction I seem to be taken these days.”