30. Engaging communities in the restoration of Waterford Heath
Themes: Water Quality, Habitats and Wildlife; People
- That whatever the flow level, the river and its associated habitats, including banks and floodplains, are managed to support chalk stream species
- To increase the attractiveness, visibility and public access, to enable people to appreciate the river (commensurate with managing and protecting sensitive habitats and species)
- To increase the public's appreciation of the unique chalk stream environment and their participation in its conservation
This project will restore a section of chalk river (River Beane) within Waterford Heath, improving visitor access and engaging the local community in the conservation of this rare habitat.
Specific activities will include:
- Restoration of a section of river, removing large trees that dominate. This will open ‘windows of light’, allowing in-channel and marginal vegetation to grow, improving the condition for wildlife (e.g. water vole, river water dropwort).
- Community volunteer work parties to remove scrub from the river edge, encouraging emergent vegetation.
- Community engagement activities - work parties, chalk river education days, guided walks.
- Improve visitor access to the north heath, reprofiling the entrance and installing a new gate.
- Create a circular walk along the river and through the north and south heaths, with interpretation panels to inform visitors about chalk rivers and their global scarcity.