Floodplain enhancements for fish and fowl
With all the wet, cold weather and flooding at the moment we thought it would be good to look back to some projects delivered last summer for a bit of light relief.
Last summer was a busy time for delivery at with projects delivered at a number of sites including Eythrope and Waterstock Local Wildlife Site (LWS). Waterstock in particular is a special area of the River Thame catchment and was designated a Local Wildlife Site in 2019 ; more recently it was designated an Important Freshwater Area (IFA) as a consequence of the habitats and wildlife found there.
We have produced a range of advice documents on how you can best protect your local watercourses through your day to day activities, this guidance on looking aafter your provate sewage system (septic tank) can be found under the Advice for households pages on our website. Supported by funding from Thames Water.
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
Earlier this month farmers from the Thame Valley farmer cluster joined River Thame Conservation Trust and Natural England staff to discuss current agri-environment schemes, how these might be changing, and what part they could play in the development of catchment-wide water and wildlife friendly farming practices. We are in the early stages of this partnership project, which was developed to tackle the complex and difficult to mitigate impacts of agriculture on the River Thame, its tributaries and the wider catchment. We have a range of advice documents for landowners on our website, but it’s important to understand the fine-grain of the catchment and see where there are opportunities to improve the environment for the benefit of future generations. Something close to the heart of many local farmers.
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