6.3. What is already being done? Regulatory: There are 14 riverine units within the Test and Itchen Catchment that are legally protected as Sites of Special Scientific Interest. The River Itchen is also designated as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) affording it a further layer of protection through the EC Habitats Directive. Plans & Strategies: South East River Basin District Management Plan -‐ Environment Agency The Environment Agency’s first cycle River Basin Management Plan provides an overarching view of current status and actions required to meet the obligations of the Water Framework Directive. The plan, published in 2009, outlined a handful of key actions for the Test and Itchen Catchment. These included measures to address fish passage, enhance habitats, monitor salmon and control invasive non-‐native species.
Ø Test & Itchen Restoration Strategy -‐ Environment Agency The Test & Itchen River Restoration Strategy focuses on the in-‐channel and riparian restoration necessary to support chalk stream flora and fauna, achieve the SSSI favourable condition required to fulfil the requirements of numerous legislative drivers, improve climate change resilience, and to secure the wider commercial and amenity value and the ecosystem services provided by the two rivers. It defines River Restoration as “measures that are designed to return the physical form (morphology) of the river and the subsequent ecological features present, back towards their natural condition”. Actions have been identified which tackle the reasons for adverse conditions of the SSSI, and which were confirmed by the key findings of a walkover survey. Reaches were assessed and recommendations made to either restore, rehabilitate, or conserve and enhance. Ø River Itchen SAC Site Improvement Plan – Natural England The plan identifies the priority actions that are required to improve the existing unfavourable condition of the River Itchen SAC. It calls for the delivery of the River Restoration Strategy as the main mechanism for delivering channel, habitat and biodiversity improvements but also identifies actions for controlling invasive non-‐native species and encouraging appropriate scrub management, grazing and weed management. Similarly, it identifies implementation of the Diffuse Water Pollution Plan as the main mechanism for improving water quality and identifies key actions in reducing sediment from road runoff and other pathways, quantifying and addressing the problem of phosphate inputs from septic tanks, review of discharge consents for watercress and fish farms and the continuation of Catchment Sensitive Farming after 2015 and continued