By Dr Pascale Nicolet & Hannah Worker
With continued pressures on the freshwater environment and limited resources, how do we prioritise conservation efforts to ensure the best gains can be achieve for freshwater biodiversity and reverse the decline of the freshwater environment?
Freshwater Habitats Trust has been working with national freshwater species and habitats experts to address this issue through the development of the Important Freshwater Areas (IFA) Concept. An evidence-driven and scalable approach to underpin the practical delivery of freshwater conservation projects through the identification of locations of regional or national importance for freshwater biodiversity.
This spring saw the release of the River Thame Catchment Plan. A plan that
outlines the vision, aspirations and goals for improvement to the freshwater
environment in the River Thame catchment. It is a framework document that
will guide the Catchment Partnership’s strategy, action and resource use in the
catchment. Specifically, the plan aims to:
- Provide a clear understanding of the challenges affecting the River
Thame catchment, based on current evidence.
- Work out priorities for improvement (what needs doing and where) and to
seek to deliver these improvements in a joined up and cost effective way.
It has been developed by the catchment hosts, River Thame Conservation
Trust and Freshwater Habitats Trust, with the support of the the wider River Thame Catchment Partnership
We have been busy this summer undertaking Phase 2 of a large floodplain restoration project that has transformed an area of low diversity floodplain meadow into a large wetland complex. The area was designed specifically to enhance biodiversity and it incorporates a new backwater to increase resilience in the local fish population. This was a partnership project, undertaken with Freshwater Habitats Trust and Waddesdon Estate. Thanks also to the local Environment Agency (EA) officers and EA Biodiversity team in particular for their support throughout the project.
You can watch a summary video of the project here
The River Thame Conservation Trust is working with Buckinghamshire Council to deliver Natural Flood Management (NFM) schemes to reduce the flood risk in Buckingham. This NFM project is being delivered over the next 2 years. We are currently searching for landowners across the Upper Ouse area (shown below) who would like to work with us and host NFM features on their land.