Date publishedWednesday, 18 January 2023
News from the team
Happy New Year to all our partners in what is currently a very water-rich Dorset. With so much water around it’s easy to forget we were still in an environmental drought not long before Christmas, but here we are suddenly more aware of slowing surface water flow pathways, storing water in the landscape and mitigating flood risk. It’s a dual reminder of what there is to do in our catchments but also a demonstration of lots achieved. As always, there’s a lot going on in Dorset and further afield in the world of catchment management and river restoration, and we have another packed newsletter for you. Please enjoy, and don’t forget to let us know if there are news items you’d like to feature in future editions.
Best wishes - Natalie
The Environment Agency have published their Flood Risk Management Plans (FRMPs) covering 2021 - 2027. At least one in six people in England are at risk from flooding from rivers and the sea with many more at risk from surface water flooding. With a rapidly changing climate, adapting what we do and improving our overall resilience is more important than ever before.
A project on the River Ecclesbourne, led by Wild Trout Trust, has seen amazing results, helping salmon to move upstream and spawn. The project involved a major weir removal operation, aiming to open up 10km of habitat for salmon, trout and other fish.
The Environment Agency has published an evaluation report for their Natural Flood Management Programme, which ran from 2017 through 2021. 60 pilot projects were funded across the country, exploring a variety of catchment and community scale activities to help reduce flood and coastal erosion risk.
The Environment Agency’s updated River Basin Management Plans have been officially signed off by the government. RBMPs are legally binding plans that aim to set out how organisations, stakeholders and communities will work together to protect and improve the water environment.
Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) have embraced the implementation of a new government legislation that will encourage the creation of mini wetlands, such as rain gardens and ponds, to help prevent flooding on new developments.
Craig Bennet, Chief Executive of the Wildlife Trust shares his views on the government’s announcement to ‘pay more to farmers who protect and enhance the environment’.
- The Moors at Arne project - Planning permission has been granted for 150 hectares of low-lying grassland on the Isle of Purbeck to be flooded to create a diverse wetland habitat. The project will start this spring and is expected to take three years to transform the site by breaching existing tidal walls.
- The Dorset Stour barbel initiative - 200 tagged barbel were introduced in the Dorset Stour’s Throop Fishery. These fish were introduced in December 2022 and will be studied for 3 years - find out why here.
Events and webinars
Winter Big Poole Harbour Bird count will take place on Sunday 29th January. Everyone is welcome to submit records for that day to help Birds of Poole Harbour build a picture of the ecology and trends in the area. People new to birding can also join teams at various sites. Find out how to get involved here.
Bright Blue Dorset - Cleaning up Our Rivers Together - Dorset Climate Action Network are holding an online event 7pm, Monday 30th January. Confirm your place here.
‘An Action Strategy for River Restoration’ - On the 19th & 20th April, the River Restoration Centre are hosting their annual conference in Birmingham. Book before 20th February to take advantage of early-bird prices. Site visits and workshops have limited availability!
- Wessex Rivers Trust are looking for a River Educator, closing date for applications is Monday 23rd January.
- The Rivers Trust have a vacancy for a Water Stewardship Officer, the deadline is Wednesday 25th January.
- Dorset Wildlife have an opportunity for an Ecological Trainee, the deadline for applications is Friday 17th February.