The 2023 Forum opened with a statement from Gail Taylor, Chair

Vitacress Conservation Trust 2023 Chalk Stream Headwaters Forum

All good things must come to an end and certainly the Vitacress Conservation Trust has been a good thing, with much to celebrate and many outstanding successes, but the Trustees feel  that now is a good time to celebrate those achievements and bring the VCT to a glorious conclusion”.

So sadly, this was the last Chalk Stream Headwater’s Forum hosted by the Vitacress Conservation Trust. Gail went on to say “Since its inception in 2007- 16 years ago, with the first Forum- we have had a blast and achieved much. But I’d like to take you back to sixteen years  ago and remind ourselves of where we were- chalk streams in a poor ecological condition- no change there I hear you say!, but in bringing together all of the stakeholders into one room to discuss their different perspectives and how they valued chalk streams, we were doing something truly novel and innovative. Before the days of River Trusts, Catchment Management Plans and Citizen Science- we were the change makers and many of you have been part of that journey-so thank you to everyone who has been there with us for the past 16 years- you have truly made a difference and we are grateful for each and every contribution”.

We would like to express our gratitude to Pete Shaw from the University of Southampton who stepped in at short notice to Chair the 2023 Forum. Our guest speakers this year were Tim Hess, Emeritus Professor Cranfield University talking about “Future Water Resources: The Changing Nature of Supply and Demand”, and Heather Smith, Water Sciences Institute Cranfield University who gave a presentation entitled “Providing Additional Water Supplies through Recycling (and public perceptions thereof)”.

Graham Roberts and Pete Shaw gave their usual updates on the Upper Itchen and Bourne Rivulet Initiatives respectively. Graham also spoke about the People’s Assembly for Nature—a new approach to the crisis for biodiversity and nature in the UK.

Tim Hess
Heather Smith

Jen Ball, University of Southampton updated on her project  “Ecosystem Services in Chalk Streams” and Kieran Gething, Nottingham Trent University  did likewise for his research “Recognising and Protecting the Aquatic-terrestrial Biodiversity of Dynamic River Ecosystems”.

Pete Shaw and Anna Michalopoulou, also from the University of Southampton, outlined two new PhD research projects entitled “Understanding processes and impacts of pollutants in nutrient-sensitive headwater chalk streams” and “Effects of Aquaculture on Water Quality in the Test and Itchen” respectively. Vitacress will fund these going forward.

Previous Forums…

2022 Chalk Stream Headwaters Forum

2022 Chalk Stream Headwaters Forum

Our first post-pandemic forum with research updates Vitacress Conservation Trust 2022 Chalk Stream Headwaters Forum - 25 November The annual Vitacress Conservation Trust (VCT) Chalk Stream Headwaters Forum took place on 25 November at Sparsholt College, Winchester,...

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2018 Chalk Stream Headwaters Forum

2018 Chalk Stream Headwaters Forum

Managing and preserving Hampshire’s ecologically important chalk streams Vitacress Conservation Trust 2018 Chalk Stream Headwaters Forum - 23 November The importance of managing and preserving Hampshire’s ecologically important chalk streams was discussed at the 12th...

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2017 Chalk Stream Headwaters Forum

2017 Chalk Stream Headwaters Forum

Progress on sponsored PhD research projects Vitacress Conservation Trust 2017 Chalk Stream Headwaters Forum - 24 November We were delighted that Merrick Denton-Thompson kindly agreed to Chair our 2017 Forum. Our first guest speaker, David Sears (University of...

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