CONSERVATIONISTS behind a project to restore the river Wye to its former glory have appealed to people living and working on its banks to help.

The ‘revive the Wye project’, which got underway last week, aims to clean up the Wycombe river and its tributaries to become a haven for people and wildlife.

The scheme was created by as a joint initiative between conservation groups and Wycombe District Council which teamed up earlier this year in a bid to preserve the chalk stream, which is a habitat for endangered species.

Roger Lawson, chairman of The High Wycombe Society which is part of the project, said: “The River Wye is a distinctive and wonderful feature which certainly deserves care and attention.

“This project will give a lead and encouragement to waterside property owners to maintain their riverbanks.

In the longer term, wherever practical, I hope some of the river’s culverted and invisible stretches can be opened up.”

Volunteers and members of the Wycombe Council District Rangers cleared litter and excess vegetation from the stretch of the River Wye between Pann Mill and the Rye Mill, High Wycombe, on Friday.

The 16 helpers donned thigh length waders to open up a silted and weeded channel to allow water to flow around a small island.

Among them were eight staff from market research company TNS Global, based in London Road.

Jo Johns director of outsourcing from the company said: “All our team had a brilliant day. We thoroughly enjoyed it and can’t wait to get back in the river again.”

Mike Overall, vice chairman of the Chiltern Society, described it as a ‘challenging project’.

He said “Its success will depend to a large extent on getting support and cooperation from the businesses, private landowners and householders whose properties border the river and its waterways.”

The group, which is set to organise more volunteer days, also intends to produce guidance for property owners along the river on how to manage the river banks.

For more information about the project contact Mike Overall on 01628 525712 or email