A major project to create a new river between Worthing and Sompting which would become the largest area of public space away from the beach is set to begin.
The Enhancing Places, Inspiring Communities (EPIC), a partnership between the Ouse & Adur Rivers Trust and Sompting Estate Trust, is planning to begin excavations on the new river channel through Sompting Brooks in early June.
The first phase of the three-year project will see a 1km section of the Broadwater Brook diverted through Sompting Brooks between the Dominion Way Industrial Estate and the mainline railway.
Project manager Peter King said: “We have met lot of people from the surrounding communities and the support they have shown has been exceptional.
“With so many activities planned until September, 2021, there is something for everyone in this project and now we are into the delivery phase we really want people to get in touch and get involved, so come along to our launch and find out more”.
Through the construction of silt traps at the northern end, the new channel will remove sediment entering the brooks from surrounding roads, resulting in a cleaner water environment and an increase in the amount of wetland habitat available within this important area of green space.
Over the past few months the project team has started to run a programme of community events, including the Helping Hands for Harvest Mice, citizen science project, supported by the Sussex Community Foundation Rampion Fund, which is learning more about the distribution and behaviour of Britain’s smallest mammal.
Supported by more than 50 volunteers from the local community a wide range of information was gathered and is currently being analysed ready to be fed back to the community.
EPIC is holding its official launch event on April 28,2019, at the Harriet Johnson Centre in Loose Lane, Sompting, between 1pm and 4pm for residents to find out more.
On its website EPIC explained the Broadwater Brook has been underground for decades. Funding of more than £870,000 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund was secured, as well as funds from other bodies.