Improving the Bourne Rivulet
A key outcome of the inaugural Chalk Stream Headwaters Forum held in June 2007 was a consensus that the formation of locally representative Sub-catchment Management Groups would be a worthwhile means of identifying and addressing environmental issues and solutions relating to the key tributaries of the Test and Itchen.
The Vitacress Conservation Trust felt it could contribute by facilitating the formation of a Sub-catchment Group on the Bourne Rivulet as a model that could be applied to the benefit of a number of other Test/Itchen sub-catchments. It was considered that the Bourne provided an excellent launch pad as it has received considerable focus over the past few years resulting in a body of robust environmental baseline data that will help identify issues and solutions.
A small group with representation from the Environment Agency, Natural England, The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, Southern Water, The University of Southampton, Vitacress Salads Limited, riparian ownership and angling interests was consequently formed.
The aim is to prove the value of local stakeholder groups in analysing and structuring improvement plans for key headwaters and to develop some detailed action plans to improve the Bourne Rivulet.
The annual VCT Chalk Stream Headwaters Forum was initiated to provide a focal point for discussion and new ideas for the management of the wellsprings of some of Europe’s most ecologically important rivers.
Chaired by Graham Roberts, VCT Trustee and formerly of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, the UII was formed with the objective of drawing together key interest groups to identify the failings of the Upper Itchen tributaries and to set about remedying the situation.