Warwickshire Avon

    The catchment includes the River Avon and its various tributaries. Coventry is the largest urban area in the catchment and other towns include Rugby, Leamington Spa, Warwick, Stratford-upon-Avon, Evesham, Redditch and Tewkesbury. Agriculture accounts for a high proportion of the land use including arable, livestock, horticulture and market gardening and fruit and vegetable production around Evesham. The catchment has a high value for wildlife and there are a large number of designated sites.

    The River Avon is navigable and a major resource for recreational activities such as boating, canoeing, fishing and walking. Water is abstracted primarily for public water supply, agriculture and industry. Water quality in the headwaters of the main tributaries is generally good. Elsewhere water quality problems are due to a mixture of the impact of sewage discharges, diffuse (urban and Agricultural) run off leading to nutrient enrichment and other pollution.

    This catchment partnership is being hosted by Warwickshire Wildlife Trust and the Severn Rivers Trust.

    Partners are engaged through Catchment Partnership meetings and by email between meetings. Stakeholders have been involved through 2 workshop sessions in Coventry and in Evesham in 2014, which identified several issues and contacts to involve.  The information from the workshops has been recorded in a report which is available, and the information was used to inform the Catchment Plan and Action Plan. These are being finalised in March 2017 and will be available once agreed.

    Using Data and Evidence in Catchment Planning

    Data from Environment Agency's catchment monitoring, River Basin Management Plans and Catchment Data Explorer has been used to inform the Catchment planning, and in identifying priority projects.

    The Leam catchment covers an area of 360km2 and includes five main waterbodies – the River Leam, River Itchen, River Stowe, and the Rains and Radford Brooks. The data concerning the catchment's waterbodies for the Water Framework Directive showed them to fail in several areas. The key issues preventing them achieving Good Ecological Status involved phosphates, pesticides and sedimentation, mainly caused by runoff from industrial, agricultural and domestic land. The causes of the problem include livestock heavily poaching riverbanks and damaging riparian vegetation with poor structure, which resulted in large quantities of sediment entering the river.

    Delivering Catchment Management Interventions

    A number of farms in the Leam catchment were identified as contributing to issues of water quality through Catchment Sensitive Farming visits. Each of the farmers was spoken to about the poached banks and advised on fencing as a method to limit further soil erosion and loss of valuable top soil and to also reduce sedimentation of the river. Tree planting in these areas was also advised which would help to maintain the structure of the bank, whilst also providing valuable shading for the river during the summer, habitat for wildlife, and act as a buffer to reduce the amount of phosphate entering the watercourse.

    In March 2013, with funding from the Woodland Trust, the project planted 3,515 native broadleaf trees, covering 10 hectares, of local provenance along the banks of watercourses and across the above farms in the catchment.

    Riparian fencing was also erected using funding from the Environment Agency. This restricts livestock access to the waters' edge and reduces the risk of them damaging the newly planted trees.

    The benefits of tree planting include:
    • Binding the banks together and reducing levels of sediment entering the river and covering river gravels used for spawning fish.
    • Reducing influx of sediment will benefit macrophytes.
    • Improving substrate composition will subsequently provide benefits for macroinvertebrates and phytobenthos.
    • Reducing volumes of phosphate entering the rivers locked to soil particles.
    • Increasing shade to help reduce water temperatures and increase dissolved oxygen levels.
    • Increased shading will also provide long-term benefits to the waterbodies by helping to relieve the effects of climate change.
    • Reducing light levels through shading will reduce periphyton accrual rate and help to reduce the risk of eutrophication.
    • Holding the soil structure together to allow pesticides to be absorbed into soil and degraded naturally.
    • Allow the natural development of riparian vegetation, which will subsequently provide shelter for juvenile fish, a habitat for macroinvertebrates and phytobenthos, and help to "clean" the water.

    More recent projects in the Catchment include:

    Longford Nature park reedbed restoration in Coventry with Coventry City Council and Warwickshire Wildlfie Trust, funded by Environment Agency in 2014.

    Guphill Brook, Coventry 2015/16 - creation of pools beside the brook to provide flood refuge for fish, increase flood capacity and enhance the connection with the floodplain. Black poplars were planted beside the brook, and wildflower and wetland plants seeded and planted on the excavated spoil and in the created pools.

    Restoration work on brook in Redditch has been undertaken by Worcestershire Wildlife Trust and North Worcestershire councils in 2015/16.

    This catchment partnership is being hosted by Warwickshire Wildlife Trust and the Severn Rivers Trust

    WarwickshireWT logo Severn RT logo

    Partners include: Campaign for Farmed Environment, Country Land and Business Association, Coventry City Council, Environment Agency, Forestry Commission, Natural England, National Farmers Union, Severn Rivers Trust, Severn Trent Water, Warwickshire County Council, Warwickshire Rural Hub, Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, Woodland Trust, Worcestershire Wildlife Trust.

    Evaluation methods are being developed for the catchment.  Each project which is publicly funded is monitored and reported on, to capture outputs and learning points.

    Scientific, citizen science and volunteer monitoring methods will be used.

    Further information about monitoring and modelling methods used coming soon.


    Warwickshire Avon

    The catchment includes the River Avon and its various tributaries. Coventry is the largest urban area in the catchment and other towns include Rugby, Leamington Spa, Warwick, Stratford-upon-Avon, Evesham, Redditch and Tewkesbury.
    Enquiries: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    Tel: 02476 302912

Severn Info

The Severn RBD is home to over 5.3 million people and covers an area of over 21,000 sq km with about one third of the area lying in Wales. The River Severn is the longest river in Britain and joins the rivers of South East Wales (including the Wye, Usk and Taff) and those of the counties of Avon and Somerset that drain into the Severn Estuary. The Severn RBD has several major urban centres, including Bristol, Cardiff and Coventry, but much of the landscape is rural in character, particularly within the Welsh Borders. It also contains many important habitat and wildlife areas and the Severn Estuary and its surrounding area are afforded a very high level of protection under European wildlife law for its bird populations, habitats and migratory fish species.

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The Catchment-Based Approach website is designed to showcase the work of catchment partnerships aross England and Wales and to encourage the sharing and adoption of best practice in stakeholder-led catchment managment planning, delivery and evaluation.
Email: info@catchmentbasedapproach.org

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