Case Study

New Forest Catchment Partnership

Who

Freshwater Habitats Trust New Forest National Park Authority

Where

SO42 7YN

What

Thanks to high quality habitats free from pollution from intensive land use, the New Forest boasts incredible freshwater habitats with exceptional wetland plant and insect communities. Unrivalled in terms of their quality and quantity, they are home to some of our most endangered plants and animals.

We can help improve these areas for wildlife by addressing threats such as water quality, quantity and the naturalness of the channel in which the water runs.

Why

The Partnership helps meet legislative requirements, but more importantly it raises the profile of this internationally-important area for freshwater wildlife and improves the quality of the local environment now and in the future.

How

In 2016, volunteers tested 675 water samples from ponds, streams, rivers, lakes and ditches in the National Park. In other catchments the Trust has surveyed, more than 75% of sites sampled are polluted by nutrients; in the New Forest 75% of sites are pristine.

Now the Freshwater Habitats Trust is leading on the Heritage Lottery Fund Living Waters project on behalf of the Catchment Group to create and restore habitats on Beaulieu River.

Successes include:

  • management plans to improve surface water at three key sites, water harvesting systems installed and a sediment trap to reduce farmyard run-off carrying nutrient and sediment into the Beaulieu River
  • eel pass provided to improve connectivity on the Beaulieu Abbey stream
  • ¬≠regular water quality monitoring for nitrates and phosphates by 35 volunteers at 60 locations in the catchment area
  • ¬≠raising awareness with an eel and fish talk in Beaulieu Village Hall; a heritage walk along Beaulieu Abbey Stream for local landowners, volunteers and the local community; training in managing horse pastures was attended by 35 people
  • working with adjacent landowners to manage freshwater habitats and improve water quality for wildlife

When

Ongoing

More information

www.freshwaterhabitats.org.uk/projects/catchment-projects/new-forest-catchment-project/


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