In June 2012 the Steering Group approved the involvement of the Solent Forum in a pilot project to test the ‘Catchment based Approach’ in the New Forest.
The aim of this pilot, one of 25 in England and Wales, was to test different collaborative approaches with stakeholders to improve the rivers, streams, lakes, coastal waters and groundwater of selected catchments, working towards the development of a catchment plan. The impetus of the work was largely to achieve the objectives of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) for all waterbodies to meet ‘Good status’ as well as conferring multiple benefits, for example to local fisheries and climate change adaptation. The project ran from June to December 2012 and has concluded with the New Forest Catchment Water Environment Improvement Plan.
The New Forest National Park Authority together with Pond Conservation led the catchment pilot project which covered the streams flowing east into Southampton Water and south into the Solent but excluding those flowing west into the River Avon. Over 50% of these streams do not achieve ‘Good Status’ with most of the coastal and estuary waterbodies also failing. A Catchment Development Group (CDG) of local stakeholder organisations and groups was established to collaboratively drive the work forward.
The CDG decided that in order to develop ownership and action on the ground, an approach focusing on individual sub-catchments should be adopted. Initially the pilot focused on three specific sites including Sowley Stream/Pond. The Solent Forum undertook to link any coastal issues to the catchment, looking specifically at the coastal area downstream of Sowley Pond; this involved desk research and a meeting with key stakeholders to discuss an action plan.
Please contact the Solent Forum Office for further information.