IN his monthly talking point column for the Hereford Times, Andy Link, chef/patron at the Riverside Inn, Aymestrey told us about how the pub are trying to create create wildlife habitats for the native species while redesigning their outside space.

He say: Lockdown provided enough space for me to really take a look at the lovely little section of the river Lugg upon which the Riverside Inn is situated.

Our river Lugg (Welsh name, Afon Llugwy) rises near Llangynllo in Radnorshire, and meets its tributary, the river Arrow, near Leominster.

It flows for 63 miles, before joining the river Wye just downstream of Hereford, at Mordiford.

The wildlife this river supports is so impressive. In the last year, on our small stretch of water alone, I have seen kingfishers, otters, native crayfish, trout, salmon, grayling, and dragonflies.

Sadly, our riverbank was devastated by the February 2020 flooding.

We are now looking to redesign and rebuild our riverside area, but our starting point is what can be done to benefit the river, and create wildlife habitats for the native species here.

On my quest to find out more about our nearby rivers, I was fortunate enough to take a day off, and managed to visit Symonds Yat. Although I grew up in north Herefordshire, I had never visited this beautiful area before.

It made me realise just how much of an asset these rivers really are to us locals, and also for tourism.

Much more needs to be done to protect these amazing local features, so that they survive for future generations to enjoy.

We aim to play our small part by improving our flood devastated riverbank. One of the projects we are looking at to help our river is to create a riparian buffer by planting shrubs and trees in fringes of grass. These buffers improve water quality by filtering sediment and pollutants from soil runoff, and provide shade to keep the water cool, as overly warm water has a detrimental impact on the aquatic life of the stream.

We are delighted to be playing a small part in helping the aquatic ecosystems on our doorstep.