THE Itchen Navigation Heritage Trail Project near Winchester has won a prestigious national award.

The Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust which ran the project said it was delighted with the Waterways Renaissance Award in the natural environment category.

The project focused on restoring the banks and reducing the number of trees which were damaging the habitat for flora and fauna.

The judges said: “The Itchen Navigation project team has delivered bioengineering techniques on a highly protected waterway, taking into consideration protected species and sensitive habitats whilst delivering sustainable solutions to bank erosion.

Getting materials and machinery to site with minimal impact has led to some innovative solutions being implemented. It is rare to have such good public access to a wildlife-rich chalk river as exists on this navigation, with a footpath running the whole length. The public has also been encouraged to enjoy the navigation.”