Date publishedFriday, 16 December 2022
News from the team
Message from the Chair
As we approach the end of 2022, a pause for reflection offers a heartening picture of what has been achieved across the partnership during the year. There is a lot to be pleased about.
Finding a new balance of working in-person and online has improved collaboration, making ideas-sharing and co-ordination much easier and more effective again. As well as continuing delivery of major projects in both catchments, this year the Partnerships have developed several significant new projects for funding consideration. This work is underpinned by the new Catchment Strategy, itself a large piece of work.
The coming year will undoubtedly be at least as busy, but the Dorset Catchment Partnerships are in robust good health and well placed to address the coming challenges. I offer an enormous thank you to all the partners who have delivered the successes of 2022 and look forward to continuing working alongside you all in 2023. Lee
Welcoming our new additions to the team
This month I am pleased to welcome our new Catchment Partnerships Officer, Sally Wallington. In bonus staffing news, I am delighted to say we are benefitting from some additional support of two apprentices based in other teams within our department at Wessex Water. Bethany Stephenson and Jude Norman will be helping me and Sally a day or two a week over the next few months and are welcome additions to the Dorset CP team. The team have introduced themselves below. Natalie
Sally Wallington- I will be a familiar face to many of you and since moving to Dorset I have worked on contracts with Natural England and recently Dynamic Dunescapes with the National Trust. My background is in countryside management delivering a wide range of projects such as chalk stream restoration, Countryside Stewardship agreements and reintroduction of cattle on Studland’s dune heath using Nofence GPS virtual fencing
Bethany Stephenson- I have recently started working with Wessex Water as a Catchment Delivery Adviser apprentice. I am doing an environmental practitioner degree apprenticeship with UWE Bristol. My role involves working with different departments involved in improving water quality, such as the Poole Harbour nitrogen offsetting project. I will be doing some work with the CP team, including helping with the newsletter.
Jude Norman- I have recently joined the Bristol Avon Catchment Partnership team as an Environmental Administrative Apprentice. The apprenticeship is a Level 3 Business Administration apprenticeship affiliated with Weston College. To help the team, I will be being involved in lots of varying administration roles, from supporting the newsletter and updating the website, to attending partnership meetings and taking minutes.
We wish you all a very Happy Christmas and New Year.
Chalk stream implementation plan CaBA’s Chalk Stream Restoration Group have released their Implementation Plan identifying the key actions essential to progress improvements to water quantity, water quality and physical habitat quality in England’s chalk streams. The action plan includes a 10-year catchment vision for the River Frome headwaters, which has been produced by our partners Dorset Wildlife Trust and Wessex Water.
Temperatures rising for chalk streams The Environment Agency’s report provides water temperature projections to 2080 for English chalk streams. The projections will help the EA and others better understand and prepare for the potential impacts of climate change. The evidence will inform the targeting of adaptation measures to reduce the adverse changes to river ecosystems and water quality.
Evidence finds beavers counter climate change Climate change is expected to cause hydrological extremes and degradation of water quality during drought periods. As river levels drop, concentrations of contaminants and excess nutrients rise. A new study published by Nature Communications found that beaver activity and dams boosted the removal of unwanted nitrogen from the studied section by 44%.
Positive childhood experiences of blue spaces linked to better adult well-being The University of Exeter’s study on data from 18 countries concludes that adults with better mental health are more likely to report having spent time playing in and around coastal and inland waters, such as rivers and lakes as children.
Navigating changes in the agricultural sector Defra’s Future Farming Resilience Fund aims to help farmers survive and ultimately thrive in these uncertain times. The fund provides organisations with grants so they can offer free business advice to farmers and land managers in the transition away from the Basic Payment Scheme.
Update on Defra’s Nutrient Mitigation Scheme Earlier this year Defra announced plans to reduce nutrient pollution on legally protected sites, unlocking house-building across the country and creating new wetlands. From December, Natural England will invite landowners to offer their land as potential sites for nutrient mitigation.
2023 UK River Prize The River Restoration Centre is looking for individuals and organisations to honour and best practice to celebrate in their annual prize awards. Apply before 20th February 2023.
Wessex Water on target to save 3.5 million litres per day
Wessex Water is on track to meet its target of saving an estimated three million litres of water per day by the end of 2022 through its water efficiency engagement activities.
- Explore how water crowfoot benefits salmon in the River Frome in Dorset, with Dr Jess Brooks, Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust through her Storymap, or read the research.
- Dorset AONB held its Stepping into Nature conference in November showcasing and celebrating the project’s achievements and activities. Over 100 people gathered under a common goal of improving the lives of people in Dorset by connecting them with nature, people, and supportive services. Find out more about the day here.
Have your say
Water Resources Management Plan
Wessex Water‘s new 5-year draft plan is out for consultation and sets out how Wessex Water will balance water supplies with demands to ensure adequate supply for customers, whilst enhancing and protecting the environment. Comments need to be submitted by the 6th February 2023 and further information can be found here.
Hampshire Minerals and Waste Plan
Hampshire County Council and its partners have updated its plan which incorporates the edge of the Stour catchment. The deadline for any feedback is 31st January. All documents can be reviewed here.
Rewilding Challenge Fund Rewilding Britain are inviting expressions of interest by Tuesday 17th January for ambitious large scale rewilding projects from community led groups. One project will be awarded up to £100,000 that shows the maximum potential to upscale rewilding on land or sea.
The Naturesave Trust tackle plastics and pollution Naturesave will open its grant programme on 1st January 2023 for community projects to reduce pollution and the use of single-use plastic. In previous funding rounds the Trust has awarded grants of between £500 to £2,500. The closing date for applications will be 28th February 2023.