Experts hope wildlife will receive a boost with the construction of an artificial gravel beach at Abington recreation ground.
Volunteers arrived at the River Granta in Abington on August 21 to begin the task of clearing a 15 metre stretch of the river bank before shovelling 20 tonnes of gravel into place.
The Abington Shoal project aims to recreate a natural gravel slope in the river which will increase the speed of the flow of water, helping to oxygenate the water and encouraging plant life to thrive.
“Rivers naturally have gravel in them,” said Ruth Hawksley from the Wildlife Trust. “I think it’ll be an improvement. A lot of rivers have been over dredged and it’s had a bad effect on the wildlife there.”
Plans were drawn up in consultation with South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Ecology officer, the Wildlife Trust and the Environment Agency. South Cambridge District Council provided technical expertise and contributed to the provision of the gravel.
Peter Brunning, chairman of the recreation ground committee and coordinator of the Abington Shoal Project, said: “It’ll make the area more presentable but it’s more so people can get to the water’s edge if they want to.”
Cambridge Water contributed a digger to help with the heavy earth moving.
“We like to support local projects,” said Cambridge Water’s Dan Clark. “We’re particularly keen to help with the biodiversity of the river.
“It makes a change to be putting something back and contributing to the local community.”
Richard Smith, 68, was among the volunteers helping out at the river.
“I counted about half a dozen volunteers,” he said. “I think it’s great. It’s a nice river but access to the water is quite difficult in most places.
“This will make the area great for children. This is a lovely village and it’s great to help.”