Improving the Upper Itchen Tributaries
Following the immediate success of launching the Bourne Rivulet Initiative in 2008 it was decided to set up an additional group covering the River Itchen above Winchester and taking in the three main upper tributaries being the Candover and Cheriton Streams as well as the River Alre.
This group quickly attracted a range of stakeholders including Natural England, the Environment Agency, Hampshire and IOW Wildlife Trust, Salmon and Trout Conservation Trust, Wessex Rivers Trust and the Test and Itchen Association. The Upper Itchen Initiative also benefits from a range of Riparian River Owners, local societies, Southampton University and local businesses that rely on the river, for example The Watercress Company and Vitacress Salads.
Fishing interests are represented as well as invited specialists from both local and national organisations. The group is very active and often has in excess of twenty participants at their three meetings per year.
Many issues are covered and the group provides a collective platform to take things forward. The timing of the group’s formation was very beneficial as many similar forums particularly led by the statutory bodies had disappeared with the various cutbacks.
An update of the group’s activities is presented at each annual Chalk Stream Forum by the Chair Graham Roberts.
Our Other Forums…
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 Dr Pete Shaw, University of Southampton, the remit of the BRI has been to identify shortcomings in the ecology of the Bourne, an important tributary of the River Test; facilitate targeted research to establish strategies to remedy them – and to set about implementing those strategies.