Evenlode Catchment

The Evenlode Catchment Partnership, hosted by Wild Oxfordshire, has a vision for an Evenlode with improved water quality, enhanced flood management, enriched biodiversity, with greater community engagement with rivers, at local and landscape scales.

For more information see ECP or contact the Evenlode’s catchment officer: hilary@wildoxfordshire.org.uk.

“Restoring our rivers and improving water quality is vital to reversing a decline in one of our most precious commodities, water ……… The Evenlode Catchment Partnership and Wild Oxfordshire were crucial in bringing together all the parties in what has been a hugely positive and rewarding experience for all involved. We look forward to working closely together on the next phases and seeing life come back to the Glyme.” Roy Cox – Estate Manager, Blenheim Palace

The River Evenlode rises out of the limestone that underlies the Cotswolds, flowing south-east towards the clay vales of the River Thames. The catchment contains 16 river water bodies including the Evenlode, and major tributaries the Glyme and Dorn. The landscape in this catchment is some of the finest in the county, forming part of the Cotswolds AONB, the remains of the ancient Royal Hunting forest of Wychwood and the World Heritage Site of Blenheim Palace. There are many historic market towns such as Chipping Norton, Moreton-in-Marsh and Woodstock. Habitats include oak-ash  woodland, limestone grasslands, lowland meadows and fen, which support a wide range of wildlife. Species present include remnant populations of our nationally endangered native crayfish, water voles and rare plant species including fen violet and downy woundwort.

The river habitat and fish populations in the Evenlode catchment are degraded through a combination of historical channel modification and pollution (sediment and phosphate) from waste water and rural areas. In many places rivers been over-deepened, widened and straightened, resulting in uniform channel morphology, a river divorced from its floodplain and extensive in-channel siltation. There are also numerous weirs, (35 on the Glyme), impounding the flow and creating barriers to fish movement. The combined impacts leave the catchment vulnerable to flooding and pollution and contribute to reduced water quality, biodiversity and fisheries interest.

News

Projects

  • Natural Flood Management demonstration project: a partnership between the EA and Wild Oxfordshire, working with landowners, parish councils and local communities to slow flows. The first part of the project included installation of large woody debris in Littlestock Brook near Milton uner Wychwood.
  • Natural Flood Management (NFM) systems as demonstrated at Honeydale Farm, an innovative project between Cotswold Seeds and the Cotswold Rivers Trust.
  • River Glyme restoration between Stratford Bridge and Woodstock Water Meadows: a collaborative project bringing together multiple funding sources and partners, including Thames Water, Environment Agency, the Wychwood Project, local landowners including Blenheim Estate, The Cotswolds Fly Fishers and Cotswolds Rivers Trust. The film about this work can also be viewed on the Agricology website.
  • Restoration and management of Woodstock Water Meadows, lead by  the Wychwood Project
  • Combe Mill as an outdoor laboratory/education site
  • Thames Water-Blitz:  Next Blitz: Tuesday 2nd May 2017. Wild Oxfordshire and Earthwatch partner with the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Freshwater Habitats Trust, the Environment Agency and catchment partnerships to carry out a biannual census of ecosystem conditions throughout the Thames River Basin, which the Evenlode catchment is part of. Watch a video about this filmed at Combe Mill.

Resources

ECP 2016 ECP 2016 review
Working in the Evenlode: Making it Visible
The Evenlode Catchment in the landscape: Evenlode Biodiversity map
Evenlode catchment with water-bodies
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