Visitors to the ever-popular Cotswold Water park just a few miles from Swindon will soon notice improvements to two key areas.

And wildlife spotters could be on the look out for otters, water voles and kingfishers if they make an improved stream their home.

The trust which runs the park has just received a grant of £70,000 from Hills and the Environment Agency.

It's going to use the money to improve the ecology at Cleveland Lakes and Shorncote Reedbeds, and creating better connections for wildlife between the two sites by enhancing the Cerney Wick Brook.

A spokesman for the Cotswold Water Park Trust said: "We are delighted to receive this grant for a two-year project.

"The Cerney Wick Brook is in poor condition, with long stretches of the watercourse suffering from dense over-shading, artificial straightening and a general lack of channel diversity. There is little in the way of in-channel or marginal vegetation, and where it does exist, it is fragmented and of poor quality."

The brook is one of the most stable of the streams flowing into the Thames at the water park because it takes water from the Shorncote sewage treatment plant.

According to the park trust, this could mean a thriving wildlife population for the stream and its banks.

Its spokesman added: "This presents a huge opportunity to create and sustain a vibrant, flourishing watercourse, with its own permanent residents such as Kingfisher, Water Vole and Otter.

"The brook currently utilised by all these species, but merely as a navigational tool, rather than as a home. Where these species have historically colonised its entire length from the Thames upstream to Shorncote, they are now no longer resident.

Workers at the park are currently cutting back vegetation and clearing channels at Shorncote Reedbeds and Cleveland Lakes.

Cotswold Water Park is an area of over 40 square miles of Gloucestershire and Wiltshire created from huge pits left by more than 60 years of gravel extraction and now filled with water, ,making a network of more than 160 lakes.

More than half a million people visit the park every year, and thousands live within its environs. A membership scheme was launched in April 2011 which offers free parking, newsletters, local discounts, and priority booking on events.

Hills is a Wiltshire firm specialising in recycling and waste management; quarrying of aggregates, the production of ready-mixed concrete and housebuilding. Based in Wiltshire it employs almost 600 people at 28 sites.