May 2023: Partner focus – Wessex Rivers Trust

Chalk streams, the jewels of our countryside, hold incredible beauty and rich biodiversity.

The Wessex Rivers Trust is a partner of Wiltshire Chalk and is building on the success of previous restoration work in the upper Avon with a project on the river near Amesbury. This project is working to enhance the health of the river and includes the restoration of habitats and bypassing weirs which currently limit fish migration.

Chalk streams are delicate ecosystems: real biodiversity hotspots, teeming with life as they host an array of plant and animal species including rare and endangered species such as water voles. Healthy chalk streams also mitigate the effects of climate change by lessening flooding, cooling the air, and trapping carbon, but only when they’re in good condition.

Part of our cultural heritage, chalk streams have inspired artists, poets and writers for centuries and shaped the history and culture of our communities. The importance of restoring and conserving our chalk streams is hugely important to the health of the Wiltshire chalk landscape.

As part of their work, the Trust identifies the problems faced by rivers and works with partners and stakeholders to come up with solutions and plans to deliver restoration projects. These can include removing weirs, reconnecting rivers with floodplains and improving their habitats.

We’ll be providing updates on the river projects as part of the Wiltshire Chalk Partnership as they progress on here, or via our social media pages