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Chalk Stream Resilience

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Thanks to generous funding from Chichester District Council we are able to take action to protect and restore three locally precious and globally unique rivers- the Ems, Hambrook and Lavant. These chalk streams are incredibly special natural features, but sadly suffering from effects of abstraction (water being taken for use in our homes and businesses), drought, pollution, habitat loss, and development.

The River Ems in springtime

With so much potential for improvement in these rivers, new Chalk Stream Resilience Officers are focusing on actions such as improving water quality, making the streams more resilient to high and low flows, and enabling habitats and species to thrive. Work on each river is driven by a tailored and specific plan, but some examples of the actions are:

  • Improvements to allow fish to seek refuge during times of low flow.

  • River and floodplain restoration such as re-wiggling the rivers, creating ponds and water meadow restoration to increase biodiversity.

  • Tackling invasive non-native species.

  • Community engagement events and activities, and boosting citizen science

Water vole on the Ems. Photo credit: Malcom Phillips

Not only do these projects aim to improve the rivers for an array of wildlife, they centre on helping people feel more connected to these precious habitats and will show that positive change is possible.

Get in touch to find out more about how you can be involved!

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Action for our riverscapes