Changes in land management and river engineering have a big impact on our wildlife and biodiversity. Natural flood meadow habitat is rare in the Evenlode Catchment due to past dredging activities whilst weirs and other barriers block the passage of fish and reduce their access to spawning grounds. Catchment based approaches to land management have considerable potential to produce effective actions on the ground and deliver a range of ecosystem services.
Such actions rely on different stakeholders engaging together to incorporate different values and benefits in decision making processes. In the Evenlode catchment we have the potential for multiple scales of value being delivered through projects, and seek to achieve active engagement at different points and with very different groups of stakeholders. We aim to deliver projects that will enhance biodiversity and improve the habitat and ecology of our rivers.
This rewetting of the river valley will help in flood alleviation and in times of drought, thus making the river more resilient to climate change and improving the habitat for wildlife. It has been a collaborative project bringing together partners including Atkins, The Environment Agency, Blenheim Estate and the ECP, as well as the Blenheim Estate.
Over the centuries, through man's actions, the river has become disconnected from the floodplain. This project involves using a series of natural timber barriers and swales to push the River Dorn back out into the floodplain, in much the same way beaver dams would have done in the past.
The farmer cluster aims to grow an inclusive and pro-active group of local farmers, landowners, and advisors who work together to deliver benefits for soil, water, & wildlife as well as building more resilient food and farming businesses.The cluster regularly meets for knowledge sharing discussions and other events.
A complex of wetland habitats have been created on Magpie Farm which is situated in the upper reaches of the Glyme.
The project aims to deliver multiple benefits including phosphorous reduction, increasing biodiversity, and providing recreation opportunities as well as being an effective natural flood management measure.
The landowner, Atkins, Natural England, Thames Water, and the Evenlode Catchment Partnership worked in partnership together to ensure the delivery of these multiple benefits.
One of the best forms of engagement available to us is through the active promotion of demonstration sites, and the hosting of meetings and events when organisations and individuals can view past and current projects. We are fortunate to have several partner organisations who help facilitate this, including Honeydale Farm,
This multiple-benefit scheme has been delivered by a number of partners: the Cotswold Rivers Trust, Cotswold Seeds and Windrush AEC Ltd. It is a useful local focal point to promote thinking about the benefits, costs and likely issues of revised land management and they actively encourage school visits.