New eel pass at Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust's Idle Valley Nature Reserve
Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust are delighted to announce that a brand new eel connection has been constructed between Belmoor Lake (the lake you can see from the Rural Learning Centre) and the River Idle at Idle Valley Nature Reserve. Eels are European protected species because their populations have crashed in recent decades, they used to be very common in the Idle, but now have few places where the young eels can safely live for years growing larger, until they are ready to make their epic journey back to the Sargasso Sea to spawn as part of their 5000km migration. With this new connection, funded by EDF Energy via the UK Sustainable Eel Group, they will be able to swim into Belmoor Lake to find somewhere to grow.
Research into the potential impacts of shale gas exploration
The partnership has collated available research information into a resource document to help understand the potential impact of activities involvede in shale gas exploration. The resource can be downloaded here.
Call out for new and refreshed project ideas
Celebrating the benefits of the Catchment Based Approach
Sherwood Catchment Partnership visit to the River Poulter
15 members of the Sherwood Catchment Partnership attended an interesting and informative visit to the Poulter Catchment on the Welbeck Estate in Nottinghamshire recently. The day included visits to two sites where recent work had been undertaken in partnership by Welbeck Estates, the Environment Agency, Severn Trent Water, the National Trust, the River Idle Catchment Partnership, Natural England, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust and a number of consultants to improve and enhance the watercourses.
Work at West Park reedbed has focussed on restoring an area of reedbed alongside the Millwood Brook, reinstating the channel that diverts approximately 50% of the flow through the area, additional reed planting and bank reprofiling. Allowing water to flow across the reedbed should help reduce phosphate and nitrate levels. The reedbed also acts as a silt trap to remove sediment from the watercourse before it enters Welbeck Lakes. In addition to water quality benefits, the area also provides biodiversity benefit including enhanced reedbed habitat and acting as a back water for fish refuge.
Historically, water meadows such as the one at Norton were irrigated over winter months to allow an extended growing season as the river water raises the soil temperature and also allows deposition of nutrients. However, over the years many have fallen into disuse for a variety of reasons and associated structures are in a state of disrepair. This project has reinstated the water control system for the fantastic meadow alongside the river Poulter. New valves allow precise control of water levels when river flow conditions are right, whilst the original and long forgotten drainage channel has been uncovered and restored. The meadow will continue to be managed with a hay cut each year, with winter productivity boosted through the revitalised water meadow system. Water leaving the site should see a reduction in sediment and nutrients, improving the quality before it enters Clumber Lake a short distance downstream.
Celebrating the Forest Charter with a riverside walk
Warsop Footpaths and Countryside Group have produced a new leaflet showing five different riverside walks along the Meden, one of the boundaries of Sherwood Forest as set out in the 1217 Charter of the Forests.
A new footbridge for the Quarry Lane Nature Reserve
The Maun Conservation Group were fortunate to receive the support of our County Councillors Garner and Sissons to obtain a Nottinghamshire County Council Supporting Local Communities funding award to enable us to install a pedestrian bridge across the River Maun on the Quarry Lane Nature Reserve. The MCG work closely with Mansfield District Council Parks' Department and together, we have created a picnic area with benches, some suitable for wheelchair users and access to the picnic site via a path, steps and more recently the pedestrian bridge. The picnic area is already proving to be very popular with our local community and more and more people are discovering the benefits of enjoying our green space alongside the River Maun in Mansfield. This "hidden gem" is accessible from many angles, is only a short walk from Mansfield Town Centre, close to Mansfield Football stadium and behind the restaurants on Park Lane, off Nottingham Road, Mansfield - well worth a visit, or two or more!
Idle Catchment Priority maps published - visit the 'Use Data' tab to find out more
Project map now available online - see the 'Deliver' tab above
A new logo for the catchment partnership - click on 'Engage' above to see more
For project updates - click on 'Deliver' above to see more
The partnership has an overarching Action Plan - click on 'Use Data' above to see more
About the whole catchment
The Idle and Torne catchment stretches from central Nottinghamshire to southern Yorkshire. It covers an area of approximately 1300km2, the landscape varying from Sherwood Forest in the south to the exposed Hatfield and Thorne Moors and valuable agricultural land of the Isle of Axholme in the north.
The Rivers Idle and Torne both flow in a general north easterly direction. The Idle is formed by the Rivers Meden, Maun and Poulter which meet near Gamston. The Idle joins the River Trent at West Stockwith and lower downstream the Torne joins the Trent at Keadby where it is tidal. The confluences with the Idle and Torne are artificially managed with water either pumped out of the tributaries at high tides or released by gravity at low tide.
Both rivers rise and flow through heavily urbanised areas including Mansfield, Sutton in Ashfield, Worksop, East Retford and the south-eastern outskirts of Doncaster. Heavy industry is present in the catchment but many collieries have closed in recent years owing to the decline in coal mining. Peat has historically been extracted in the north, at Hatfield Moors.
The dominant land use is arable agriculture. Large areas of land in the north of the catchment have a comprehensive system of land drainage to maintain their agricultural quality. Because of their low-lying situation these areas are also protected from the River Trent by extensive flood defences.
The Idle Catchment Partnership vision is 'To conserve and enhance the Rivers Idle, Ryton, Poulter, Meden, Maun, their tributaries and surrounding land, to create a healthy and wildlife rich water environment for the benefit of both people and biodiversity.'
There are many ways to get involved with the work of the River Idle Catchment Partnership but to get the best introduction, it is worth coming along to one of our quarterly meetings. We have two groups that meet to discuss issues within the catchment and to learn more about how to improve the water environment:
River Idle Management Partnership (RIMP) - meets at the Idle Valley Nature Reserve, covers the Rivers Idle and Ryton and tributaries
Sherwood Catchment Partnership (SCP) - meets in various locations in the Sherwood area, covers the Maun, Meden, Poulter, Rainworth Water and tributaries
A new logo for the River Idle Catchment Partnership
The River Idle Catchment Partnership has unveiled its new logo this week. The bright, colourful and bold design was chosen by the Partnership from almost 100 entries into their ‘design a logo’ school’s competition, generously funded by Severn Trent. Lennon Foster from High Oakham Primary School in Mansfield came up with the winning design and was awarded his prize by representatives from the Catchment Partnership.
Speaking about the competition, Sarah Spurry from the Maun Conservation Group said: "It's a real honour for Maun Conservation Group members that Lennon Foster from High Oakham Primary School, who visited the Quarry Lane Nature Reserve with his class and learnt about the River Maun, has won the River Idle logo competition - a great design which we look forward to using on our publicity."
Zara Turtle, catchment partnership coordinator from Severn Trent, added: “We’re delighted to have sponsored this competition as we think that working in partnerships to improve and sustain our local water network and surrounding environment is incredibly important. It’s possible to achieve far more for the environment by working in partnership than if we all worked individually.”
The River Idle Catchment Partnership has a vision to conserve and enhance the Rivers Idle, Ryton, Poulter, Meden, Maun, their tributaries and surrounding land, to create a healthy and wildlife-rich water environment for the benefit of both people and biodiversity. The new logo will help to publicise the work of Partnership members in delivering environmental, agricultural and social improvements to the catchment’s waterbodies through collaboration, education and ground work.
At the end of 2013 Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust held two workshops to consider the watercourses within the Idle sub-catchment area. The workshops aimed to find out more about the ecological condition that these watercourses are in, and the reasons why they fail to meet the standards set by the Water Framework Directive, and what local stakeholders thought was needed to improve the situation. The information from those workshops has now been collated to form an action plan for the catchment along with a map and comments detailing the projects that were identified.
Following from the production of our draft action plan document, we have now set up partnerships involving many different people and organisations that care about and have an influence on these rivers. These partnerships will involve looking at potential projects that can improve the condition of the watercourses and some of the surrounding land in this area. The River Idle Maintenance Partnership is looking at the Rivers Idle and Ryton, and the Sherwood Catchment Partnership is focused on the Maun, Meden and Poulter and all their tributaries, with an overarching Steering Group.
In June 2014 the partnership ran a training day for local planners to talk to them about the WFD and how they can help to implement the WFD through the planning process. This was a very successful session and helped to shape a further project on local authority engagement which we are currently working on.
There are a number of tools that partners can use to help identify and target catchment actions. WFD status and reasons for failure are listed for each waterbody within the Catchment Data Explorer website.
SCIMAP is a free web based modelling tool to help understand flow paths, erosion and sediment risk for a river catchment. For more information on SCIMAP, or for help with modelling a particular area, contact the Catchment Host organisation using the link at the bottom of the page.
Priority Mapping 2016/17
The Idle Catchment Partnership Steering Group has developed a suite of priority maps based on available evidence. The maps relate to the five key themes within the partnership's Action Plan and are not intended to be used in isolation, but as a tool for helping to target future work. A sixth map considers potential statutory agency priority areas - these relate to the Environment Agency, Natural England and the Forestry Commission.
From our workshops we produced an action plan for the catchment, along with a project/issue map and list.
We are now working with our partners to develop specific projects which will lead to improvements in WFD status. Most of these will involve working in a concerted fashion from source heading downstream.
Delivering Catchment Management Interventions
New project ideas - template
If you would like to submit a project idea to add to the Idle Catchment Plan, please use this form and email it to the Catchment Hosts using the link at the bottom of the page. We welcome new and refreshed project ideas and hold regular Catchment Partnership meeetings to disuss active and proposed projects.
A number of projects from the 'Delivering Projects' plan have been completed in the catchment during 2015/16. Case studies are being prepared to help illustrate the successful implementation of measures designed to improve the water environment. These will be uploaded here when available, but in the meantime brief project descriptions are provided below.
Restoring Rainworth Together - funded by CPAF
CPAF funds have enabled a two-stranded project in the Rainworth area. Schools in Rainworth have received a free educational session based on the Yellow Fish scheme with the aim of raising awareness of water pollution issues and giving top tips to help make water quality improvements. A community event was held to further raise awareness by highlighting drains around the village with the yellow fish symbol.
Habitat works have been undertaken on Rainworth Water within Sherwood Pines to remove a section of defunct pipe culvert and enhance the riverbank. It is hoped that this will help to reduce silt entering the watercourse in part by creating an access barrier to illegal off road vehicles.
Rufford Wetland Enhancements
An EA-funded project at Rufford Country Park is now complete. Works have included enhancing the wetland area, forming a connection to the Gallow Hole Dyke, stabilising the bank using coir rolls, creation of an otter holt and kingfisher bank and marginal planting.
EA-funded works have included installation of a cattle drink, fencing and access works and creation of in channel wetland habitat aimed at improving water quality in the River Ryton.
Delivering Projects in the Idle Catchment 2015/16
We have delivered a number of projects within the catchment during 2014/15, and these will hopefully lead to further opportunities. These projects included;
Improving Water Quality: Engaging with the Water Framework Directive - Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust have completed a joint project with Dorset Wildlife Trust to produce an information pack, with roadshow materials and a training pack, to enable better engagement with local authorities, particularly planning departments. Click here to find out more and to download the documents.
Project scoping on the River Ryton – mainly focussing on identifying rural diffuse pollution and measures that could be implemented to reduce impacts, i.e. riparian fencing. Click here to see a copy of the River Ryton Design and Scoping Report.
Project scoping on Clumber Lake – looking at measures to reduce phosphate impacts, including the planting of macrophytes, the creation of floating reedbeds, and removal of blanket weed. Click here to see a copy of the report.
Master planning of Rainworth Water – identifying projects along the entire length of the watercourse and planning these as short, medium and long term objectives for improving WFD status. Click here to see a copy of the Rainworth Water Masterplan Report
The River Idle Management Partnership is working with the EA to undertake a silt survey of the lower reaches of the river Idle, this will allow modelling to take place, with a view to targeting areas for silt removal in the future.
The partnership is now looking at ways to attract funding to start delivering these and other projects. We are currently finalising plans for upper catchment interventions on the Rivers Ryton and Meden, habitat creation works on Rainworth Water and tributaries and a water quality awareness raising project with schools and community groups in Rainworth.
The main partners of the Idle Catchment Partnership include:
Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust
Severn Trent Water
Nottinghamshire County Council
Sherwood Forest Trust
Derbyshire County Angling Club
Isle of Axholme and North Notts Water Level Management Board
Canal and Rivers Trust
Ashfield District Council
Bolsover District Council
Newark and Sherwood District Council
Forest Town Nature Conservation Group
Maun Conservation Group
Friends of the Carrs
Mattersey Parish Council (representing local parish councils along the Idle)
RIVER BASIN MANAGEMENT PLANS
River Basin Management Plans (RBMPs) set out how organisations, stakeholders and communities will work together to improve the water environment. The most recent RBMPs were updated in 2015 and build on the work already doen to protect and improve over 9,320 miles of our rivers over the last 5 years. They set out how a minimum of 680 (14%) of waters will improve over the next 6 years from around £3 billion investment.
The River Idle Catchment is part of the Humber River Basin District and the relevant plan for the catchment can be found here.
If you want to find out more about the status of the rivers which make up the Idle Sub-catchment, detailed information is available via the Environment Agency's Catchment Data Explorer website. You can find information on the Management Catchments here. For detailed information on individual river catchments, start here.
Idle Catchment Partnership The River Restoration Centre have developed a guidance document for monitoring which will hope will assist the partnership in the development of a monitoring plan for catchment activity.
Until a monitoring plan has been formally adopted, the Catchment Hosts would welcome feedback on project activity from partners - please get in touch via the link at the bottom of the page.
Tel: 0115 958 8242
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:firstname.lastname@example.org
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