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  • Partners Programme current projects: 2015-2020

    Wessex Water’s Partners Programme has been an integral part of our Biodiversity Action Plan since 1998 and offers funding to practical conservation and research projects across the Wessex Water region.

    Partners programme river restoration 356

    We are supporting four projects between April 2015 and March 2020, all of which seek to address issues around:

    • the catchment based approach - working at a river catchment scale, in partnership and following a holistic approach, which aim to solve key problems at source and deliver wider benefits (including enhancing biodiversity and progress towards achieving targets under the Water Framework Directive). 
    • payments for ecosystems services - methodologies and practical outputs which bring together and enhance the services which the environment provides in our region (for example, food production, flood attenuation, biodiversity, climate regulation)
    • science and research - undertaking detailed scientific research, surveying or monitoring to enhance our understanding of biodiversity, catchments or ecosystem services.
    Project and partner  Aim
      Dorset Wild Rivers - Dorset Wiltshire Trust  To take a catchment wide approach to restoring and recreating wildlife habitat along Dorset's rivers - this will also improve water quality, flood storage and  community involvement in water issues.
      Wessex Chalk Stream project - Wiltshire Wildlife Trust  To help improve the iconic River Avon chalk streams in Wiltshire and safeguard their rare biodiversity.
      South Wiltshire Farmland Conservation - Cranborne Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty  To work with land managers in Wiltshire and Dorset to create bigger and better habitats on agricultural land, reduce pollution going into rivers and enhance wildlife populations including declining arable bird species.
      North Somerset Levels and Moors Grazing Marsh - Avon Wildlife Trust  To restore and manage grazing marshes on the North Somerset Levels and Moors to benefit aquatic plants and invertebrate; habitats for otters, water voles and bats; and flood alleviation.

    Small grants scheme

    For the first time, our Partners Programme is offering individual small grants of between £2,500 and £5,000 for standalone projects applied for and awarded every six months until October 2019.

    The small grants scheme is designed to fund short term, smaller scale practical projects which address catchment, ecosystems and science and research issues, such as habitat creation and restoration, ancillary conservation works (eg, fencing, support services for grazing), land management actions to improve water quality, provision of land management advice, dissemination and communication of information, or to meet immediate research or monitoring needs.

    We are seeking to support one or two small projects in each six month application window. Applications for these grants will be open from 1 to 30 April and 1 to 31 October each year.

    More details and an application form are available on this page - see related downloads.

    To date we have offered small grants to the following projects:

    Date   Projects funded
     Spring 2015    Rewe Mead Nature Reserve improvement project - Somerset Wildlife Trust
     Sherston River improvement project (Shrimp) - Bristol Avon Rivers Trust
     Autumn 2015    Bring back the Buttercup – South Gloucestershire Biodiversity Action Group
     Magnificent Marden – Bristol Avon Rivers Trust
     Spring 2016    Dorset Extended Riverfly Monitoring Initiative – Dorset Extended Riverfly Monitoring Group
     Midford Brook Habitat Enhancement project – Bristol Avon Rivers Trust
     Autumn 2016  Riparian Habitat Enhancement Project (tackling Himalayan Balsam) – Bristol Zoological Society/Avon Invasive Weeds Forum
     Spring 2017  River Nadder Invasive Non Native Species Control Project – Wiltshire Wildlife Trust
     Autumn 2017  Stour Catchment Stepping Stones Project – Dorset Wildlife Trust
     Spring 2018 Holt Heath Monitoring Project – Wessex Chalk Streams & Rivers Trust and Dorset Wild Rivers project
    Blackwater and Brown hairstreaks project – Somerset Wildlife Trust

    For more information please email

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