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CATCHMENT ACTION PLAN TEST & ITCHEN CATCHMENT PARTNERSHIP

www.ticp.org.uk


FOREWORD

Protecting the Test and Itchen rivers and their catchment and the issues, pressures and challenges that affect this unique water environment is vitally important to many individuals and local organisations in the Hampshire area. While the catchment has a legacy of good partnership projects to build upon, to make a real difference there needs to be an integrated approach to sharing knowledge and delivering improvements that will protect the Test and Itchen for the long term. The Catchment Based Approach is DEFRA’s solution to help support a more integrated system. It involves local communities and organisations in decision making by sharing evidence, listening to ideas, working out priorities and seeking to deliver actions that address local issues in a cost effective way. By working together we can take the necessary steps to deliver the improvements needed to protect and enhance our local river catchments.

Paul Jose Director, Wessex Chalk Stream & Rivers Trust

Debbie Tann Chief Executive, Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust

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VISION

“a healthy water environment which is valued and nurtured by residents, businesses and the wider community�

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY – PLAN REVIEW, 2017 BACKGROUND The Test & Itchen are widely regarded as two of the finest chalk streams in the world, supporting a rich diveristy of flora and fauna which is unique to chalk stream environments. Despite this, they face significant pressures. The EU Water Framework Directive, designed to drive improvements in the status of rivers, lakes, coastal waters and groundwater, provides a unique opportunity for us to further enhance the ecological and chemical quality of our precious chalk rivers, providing benefits for the environment and for society . DEFRA recognise that the involevement of local stakeholders is a crucial part of the solution to improving the state of our water environment and have established a Catchment Based Approach policy framework to enable stakeholders to collectively plan and deliver actions at a catchment scale. The Test & Itchen Catchment Partnership brings together a diverse range of local organisations, businesses and individuals to collectively agree priority issues and actions that will be delivered, in partnership, for the benefit of the water environment. This Catchment Action Plan encapsulates the partnership’s aspirations and will guide the delivery of actions into the future. KEY THEMES The Partnership undertook a stakeholder-led review of the catchment using 4 key themes of; WATER QUALITY, WATER QUANTITY, CHANNEL / HABITAT / BIODIVERSITY and RECREATION & COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT. Within these key themes the partnership combined the views and opinions of local stakeholders with a broad spectrum of supplementry data and evidence, to agree issues, to map existing activity and to identify opportunities for the catchment partnership to deliver complimentary actions. OUTCOMES The partnership collectively agreed an initial short list of priority projects, primarliy focused around delivering improvements to ‘Water Quality’ and ‘Water Quantity’. The initial projects (agreed in 2014) remain priorities for the partnerhsip but have been supplemented by additions to this list, with the full set of partnership priorities shown in the table below. This selection is the result of an internal review of the Partnership’s priorities which commenced in 2017, prompted by a broadeneing of the partnership’s membership since its formation, and which will be followed up by a full review & update of this plan in 2018. In the interim, ‘action cards’ provide more detail about some of these emerging priorities and can be found on the Test and Itchen Catchment Partnership website: www.ticp.org.uk

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A. WATER QUALITY:

B. WATER QUANTITY

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

1. 2. 3. 4.

Sediment Pathways * Phosphate & Non-Mains Sewerage Water friendly Farming Anglers Monitoring Initiative * Watercress Exemplar

C. CHANNEL / HABITAT / BIODIVERSITY 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Keeping Rivers Cool White clawed crayfish conservation INNS awareness & control * On-line Lake Restoration Floodplain management River and Wetland Restoration Migratory Fish (Passage, Spawning)

Water Efficiency * NEP / Resilience Projects Water Level Management Natural Flood Management schemes

D. RECREATION. HERITAGE & COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Community Catchment Planning Built Heritage Restoration Getting Hooked Open Rivers Scheme Citizen Science – P, INNS, Riverfly * Education Projects ‘Beauty & the Beach’

* projects that cover a number of outcomes

This broader suite of priorities reflects the collective aspirations of the current membership of the partnership, shown below.

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CONTENTS BACKGROUND 1.0. INTRODUCTION 1.1. Catchment Based Approach 1.2. Test & Itchen Catchment Partnership 1.3. Catchment Action Plan

7 7 8 9

2.0 CATCHMENT BACKGROUND 2.1. Location 2.2. Geology & Soils 2.3. Land use and Population 2.4. Environment and Landscape Features 2.5. Ecosystems Services

10 10 11 11 12 13

3.0. STRATEGIC REVIEW 3.1. Stakeholder Engagement 3.2. Designated Sites 3.3. Water Framework Directive (WFD) 3.4. Plans, Strategies & Projects

14 14 15 16 19 KEY THEMES

4.0. WATER QUALITY 4.1. What are the issues? 4.2. Where are the pressures? 4.3. What is already being done? 4.4. What can the partnership do?

23 24 25 26 27

5.0. WATER QUANTITY 5.1. What are the issues? 5.2. Where are the pressures? 5.3. What is already being done? 5.4. What can the partnership do?

29 29 29 31 33

6.0. CHANNEL / HABITAT / BIODIVERSITY 6.1. What are the issues? 6.2. Where are the pressures? 6.3. What is already being done? 6.4 What can the partnership do?

35 35 35 37 38

7.0. RECREATION & COMMUNITY ENGAGMENT 7.1. What are the issues? 7.2. Where are the pressures? 7.3. What is already being done? 7.4 What can the partnership do?

40 40 40 40 41 OUTCOMES

8.0. PARTNERSHIPS FOR ACTION 8.1. Summary of opportunities 8.2. Prioritisation of Opportunities 8.3. Projects and Partnerships for Action 8.4. How can you get involved?

43 43 44 44 45

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BACKGROUND

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1.0 INTRODUCTION 1.1. The Catchment Based Approach (CaBA) The ‘Catchment Based Approach’ is part of the UK’s solution to improving the Chemical and Ecological Status of our waters under the European Union’s Water Framework Directive. DEFRA recognises the value of bringing local stakeholders together under a single umbrella to collectively agree and deliver actions. The Catchment Based Approach policy framework will see issues being identified and tackled at a much more local level, giving local stakeholders the opportunity to get involved with planning and delivery of environmental improvements. Throughout England, Catchment Partnerships have been established under the Catchment Based Approach and many have developed catchment plans which guide the work of the partnerships, and help to inform larger-scale strategic plans that the Environment Agency develops for each of the 11 River Basins Districts in England & Wales. These River Basin Management Plans set out the priorities and actions to deliver Good Ecological Status (or Potential) to be implemented throughout the management cycles of WFD, up to the end of the third management cycle in 2027. The diagram below shows the timescale the Environment Agency is working to in order to deliver and implement their plans.

Figure 1: Timetable for River Basin Management Planning under WFD

However, CaBA is about much more than just complying with the Water Framework Directive. It provides an opportunity for those individuals and organisations who have an interest in the rivers, lakes and groundwater bodies, as well as those whose activities benefit from them, or have the potential to impact upon them, to come together: to highlight issues, identify priorities and participate in delivery of actions to address them. This includes river owners, fishery and wildlife organisations, land owners and farmers, water companies, industry and other businesses and the wider community.

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1.2. The Test & Itchen Catchment Partnership (TICP) The Wessex Chalk Stream & Rivers Trust (WCSRT) and the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust (HIWWT) are co-hosting the Catchment Partnership, with funding from DEFRA and others sources to develop this action plan and co-ordinate delivery of the actions proposed in it. A core group of key delivery organisations representing fishery and wildlife interests, farming and aquaculture, the water industry, local authorities and the government environmental bodies has been set up to direct and steer the Catchment Partnership. This group currently (2017) consists of the following organisations:

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Participation from communities and interest groups is crucial to the Catchment Based Approach, so the Catchment Partnership engages with a wide range of stakeholders by drawing upon the network of contacts of its constituent members. This enables local stakeholders to feed their views into the partnership and help deliver action on the ground. The partnership has already worked with a wide range of stakeholders including; local authorities, the watercress and fish farming industry, fisheries groups, riparian owners, land managers and farmers, and throughout 2017 has been engaging widely with stakeholders in the headwaters of the catchment regarding the development of a potential lottery project to be delivered in partnership from 2018, pending a successful funding bid. 1.3. The Catchment Action Plan The aim of the Catchment Action Plan is to set out the actions, agreed by the partnership, that will deliver the environmental improvements needed to work towards achieving the partnership’s shared vision for the catchment. The Catchment Action Plan is divided into two parts: 1. The first part is this ‘background document’, which describes the catchment, the key issues, the existing actions and finally, the opportunities for the Catchment Partnership to deliver complimentary actions. 2. The second part of the Catchment Action Plan will be ‘web-based’, with a series of projectspecific action cards being hosted on the TICP’s website. This ‘background document’ begins with an overview of the catchment’s key characteristics and an outline of the current environmental status. [Note: This section of the plan has not been updated since publication and will be reviewed and updated as necessary in 2018] The plan then looks at 4 key themes of; water quality, water quantity, ‘channel / habitat / biodiversity’ and recreation. Within each of these themes, the plan identifies the main issues, the existing actions being delivered to address these issues and the opportunities for the catchment partnership to deliver improvements. [Note: this section of the plan has been supplemented with information relating to the more-recently identified partnership priorities] The priority projects, outlined in the final section of this document form the basis for the second ‘web-based’ part of the Catchment Action Plan. The actions and delivery mechanisms specific to each project will be shown in action cards that will be displayed on the Test & Itchen Catchment Partnership’s website. These will be frequently updated as projects progress. www.ticp.org.uk This format is intended to allow the Catchment Action Plan to be a fully working document, which will be adapted and developed as new evidence emerges, priorities are identified and actions are implemented.

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2.0 INTRODUCTION

For the purposes of this partnership, we have adopted the ‘management catchment’, shown below, that the Environment Agency uses for monitoring and reporting under the Water Framework Directive and for managing the availability of water for abstraction. The Test & Itchen management catchment combines the hydrological catchments of the Rivers Test and Itchen, along with the underlying groundwater bodies, the Southampton Water and the Solent. 2.1. Location The catchment drains approximately 1,760 square kilometres of land, in the county of Hampshire, with both rivers rising from springs on the chalk downs at their respective sources near Ashe and Hinton Ampner, before flowing through predominantly rural parts of the county, until they reach a shared estuary in Southampton Water.

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2.2. Geology & Soils

Infrastructure regulating the service Geology & soils

é Fig 2: Boundary Map - Test & Itchen Catchment

Soil typology Infrastructure regulating service

Soil is the medium in which plants grow and is a vital habitat that supports a huge diversity of Theanimal biggestspecies challenge assessing the provision land of forfood, recreation andinmicro-organisms. Fertile of soilresources is criticaland for accessible the production timberand andcultural activitie current of those essential opportunities across the and landscape catchment andSoils to examine the way fibre,provision and it is therefore for our survival economic prosperity. also influence the that these op

The geology of the catchment is dominated by chalk which covers 80% to this 90% of therolebeen catchment, and accessed and when assessment made can the of level of provision services be assessed and com character ofmanaged. our localOnly landscapes and play a keyhas in the regulation environmental thatsuch I required thecycling, residential and business communities. as nutrient water quality, water flow regulation and carbon storage. comprises large, mostly unconfined, aquifers that provide thebymajority of flow to both rivers, as well The data presented here gives flavour of the infrastructure that exists – public rights of way remain to be mapped, b be assessed in more detail. !in the "of access to greenspace/open as providing drinking water for the catchment and thelevels surrounding area. spaces Thetochalk downland upper catchment is covered mainly by shallow, well drained, calcareous, flinty and silty soils. (www.landis.org.uk)$

3 4: Soil Types - Test & Itchen è Fig

Recreation Overview

è Fig 3: Solid Geology - Test & Itchen

UPGRADE$DATA:$NatMap$Vector$ from$NSRI$Cranfield.$

FREE$ALTERNATIVE:$EU$Soils$ Database.$Free$from$the$European$ Soil$Portal$(eusoils.jrc.ec.europa.eu).$$

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In contrast, in the lower parts of the catchment, the Rivers Dun, Blackwater, and Lower Test, and the Bow Lake, and Lower Itchen, flow over tertiary clay geology where soils are more prone to structural degradation. 2.3. Land use and Population The Test and Itchen is a largely rural catchment and the majority of land, approximately 1,100 sq km or 62%, is used for farming. The main agricultural activity, accounting for 80% of agricultural land, is arable farming and includes the production of wheat, barley, oats and oil seed rape. There are also a number of mixed farming and livestock enterprises, most of which are concentrated in the lower catchment and the river valleys. The river valleys are also home to the watercress industry, which relies on plentiful supplies of high quality spring water for its watercress growing operations. 12


The main centres of population within the catchment are Southampton, Andover, Winchester, Eastleigh and Romsey. The catchment population is approximately 725,000 (2011 Census) with the highest population densities in Southampton, which creates significant pressure on water resources and increased levels of pollution entering the Southampton Water. è Fig 5: Landcover type

è Fig 6: Population density

2 .

2.4. Environment and Landscape Features In terms of both landscape and biodiversity, the catchment contains a number of sites of local, national and international importance, with a diverse range of habitats supporting a rich variety of species. To the east, a substantial part of the upper Itchen catchment is included in the South Downs National Park and similarly, most of the Bourne Rivulet catchment and part of the upper Test catchment is within the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The river valleys themselves also attract a number of statutory designations that reflect the importance of their unique chalk river systems and the diversity of species they support. Significant portions of each of the Test and Itchen Rivers are designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), as well as large swathes of the floodplain. In addition, the River Itchen is also designated as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) under the EC Habitats Directive, recognising the international importance of chalk river habitat and the species it supports.

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The current configuration of the river is the result of re-engineering for land drainage, water mills, water meadows and navigation over a long period of time. These functions have long gone, as has the associated income that paid for the maintenance of the complex river system, which is now semi-derelict in parts. è Fig 7: Designated Sites

There are many relict weirs and control structures along the river and several reaches where the already modest gradient was removed to maintain a head of water to power waterwheels or to spill water into the meadows. These man-made features are part of our industrial and agricultural heritage but can be in conflict with aspirations for a fast-flowing, silt-free river. 2.5. Ecosystems Services Ecosystems services can broadly be described as the benefits we receive from the natural environment. Unlike the traditional geographic units that have been used to manage society, such as parish, borough and county boundaries, river catchments offer a natural management unit (a hydrological ecosystem) from which to identify the mechanisms via which the natural environment provides benefits to society. We derive an array of ecosystems services from our river catchment landscapes, including: Ø The provision of clean drinking water Ø The disposal of waste water Ø The regulation and attenuation of water e.g. flood water storage in extreme rainfall events Ø Habitats for wildlife Ø Water supply for Industrial abstraction Ø Agriculture Ø Aquaculture & fisheries Ø Shellfisheries Ø Culture and recreation, particularly recreational angling Ø Port activities Ø Power generation However, over the past century our catchment ecosystems and the services they provide have come under increasing pressure from conversion of natural habitats, pollution of land and water, exploitation of terrestrial and freshwater resources, invasive species and climate change. The result is that the provision of the ecosystems services we depend on has been skewed in favour of the production of food, fibre and fuel to the detriment of many other vital services. A healthy water environment is essential in preventing further development of this trend and for sustaining the on-going delivery of ecosystems services.

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3.0. STRATEGIC REVIEW

The partnership has carried out a strategic review of the catchment, using a multi-tiered approach, which builds upon crucial evidence provided by stakeholders at a series of stakeholder workshops. The additional evidence used to supplement the views and opinions of local stakeholders, includes information on designated sites, Environment Agency data from monitoring and reporting under the Water Framework Directive, as well as various plans, strategies, projects from across the catchment. 3.1. Stakeholder Engagement To develop this stakeholder led Catchment Action Plan, the Partnership sought to engage key stakeholders in the catchment to share their views and priorities regarding potential issues and actions for delivering improvements. The partnership has focused stakeholder engagement around key organisations and individuals with direct links to the Test & Itchen Rivers. This approach has been taken because key regulatory priorities for the Test & Itchen catchment are closely linked to the nature conservation status and wider benefits of the waterways as SSSI (and, in the case of the Itchen, SAC) rivers. We recognise the importance of working closely with the key landowners and stakeholders whose actions and operations can impact, both positively and negatively, the conservation status of the protected rivers. We also recognise that the requirements of the nature conservation legislation, as well as the nature of the ownership of the rivers and floodplains, (the rivers are primarily privately owned and managed, and have limited public access), places constraints upon the kind of activities the partnership may wish to promote. Clearly, the generation of improvements requires collaborative actions with river owners/managers. The partnership also recognises the importance of wider engagement with the public and intends to move to wider consultation and engagement once initial support for this plan and its direction of travel have been established within the currently-engaged stakeholder community. A phased approach was felt, by the partnership, to limit the risk of creating unrealistic expectations amongst local communities or alienating those key stakeholders whose cooperation will be required for undertaking almost any works within the catchment. A good example of this approach is the recent development of a landscape partnership bid for the headwaters of the catchment, with a focus on community involvement. 3.2. Designated Sites The River Itchen and River Test Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) are amongst the country’s finest examples of chalk river systems and associated habitats. They are legally protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and through the Water Resources Act 1991 and the Water Industry Act 1991. The designation helps Natural England to ensure better protection and management of the SSSI units, safeguarding their existence for the future.

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è Fig 8: Test & Itchen: SSSI Condition

There are 14 riverine SSSI units in the Test and Itchen catchment, 8 of which are on the River Test and the remaining 6 on the River Itchen. Natural England undertakes periodic condition assessments, which examine the physical, hydrological, ecological and water quality condition of each unit for habitats and species. The condition of the SSSI Unit is then classified as being either: Favourable condition / Unfavourable recovering / Unfavourable no change / Unfavourable declining.

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Figure 3: Test and Itchen Riverine SSSI Unit Condition River Itchen SSSI Unit 105 106 107 108 142 143

Condition Assessment 2013/2014 Unfavourable no change Unfavourable no change Unfavourable no change Unfavourable no change Unfavourable no change Unfavourable no change

84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91

Condition Assessment 2013/2014 Unfavourable no change Unfavourable no change Unfavourable no change Unfavourable no change Unfavourable no change Unfavourable no change Unfavourable no change Unfavourable no change

River Test SSSI Unit

In addition to the SSSI designations, the River Itchen is also designated as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) under the EC ‘Habitats Directive’, which provides an additional level of protection. As such, the River Itchen is classed as a Natura 2000 site and falls under the Improvement Programme for England’s Natura 2000 sites (IPENS). As part of this programme, in 2014 Natural England published a Site Improvement Plan (SIP) for the River Itchen SAC. The plan sets out issues affecting the SAC which cannot be tackled by existing measures, and which require additional action such as funding mechanisms or policy changes to be put in place in order to tackle them. The Test and Itchen are important contributors to the condition of a number of downstream designated sites, particularly those within the marine environment. These include the Solent Maritime SAC, Solent and Southampton Water Special Protection Area (SPA), and the Solent and Southampton Water Ramsar Site which is underpinned by a number of coastal SSSIs, including the Lee-on-The Solent to Itchen Estuary SSSI. 3.3. Water Framework Directive (WFD) For WFD monitoring / reporting purposes, the Environment Agency divide the Test and Itchen catchment into a number of individual waterbodies. For rivers, canals, lakes, transitional and coastal waterbodies, the ecological and chemical status of each waterbody is assessed, with the results giving rise to an overall classification of ‘Good’, ‘Moderate’, ‘Poor’ or ‘Bad’ overall status. For groundwaters, a quantitative and a chemical status are used to give rise to an overall status. Classification maps are displayed below, and progression of waterbody classification over time can be reviewed by using the Environment Agency ‘Catchment Data Explorer’ interactive tool at: http://environment.data.gov.uk/catchment-planning/.

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At present, approximately 55 percent of waterbodies within the Test and Itchen catchment are not meeting Good Ecological Status. These waterbodies are failing for a range of Water Framework Directive elements such as, fish, invertebrates and phosphate, amongst a number of other reasons, demonstrating the breadth of pressures facing the catchment.

è Fig 9: Test & Itchen: Surface Water Overall Status 2013

For groundwater, the River Test Chalk and the River Itchen chalk, which generate a significant component of surface water flow in the catchment’s rivers, are failing for chemical status as they contain high concentrations of Nitrates and there is evidence of localised contamination from solvents and pesticides. In the most recent assessment, the Itchen Chalk is also failing on groundwater quantity.

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è Fig 10: Test & Itchen: Groundwater Chemical Status 2013

è Fig 11: Test & Itchen: Groundwater Quantity 2013

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The transitional and coastal (TraC) waterbodies (‘Southampton Water’ and ‘Solent’), which are fed by the catchment’s surface water are failing in the most recent assessment. è Fig 12: Test & Itchen: TRaC Waters Overall Status 2013

3.4. Plans, Strategies & Projects In addition to the information on designated sites and WFD data, there is a considerable body of work, both past and present, which has been undertaken to address issues across the whole catchment or within certain individual waterbodies. The majority of this activity has been documented in the various plans and strategies listed below. The Partnership has undertaken a review of the activities and actions contained in these various plans and strategies in order to highlight the main issues and pressures on the water environment and to identify where the Partnership might be most effective in delivering actions that will lead to environmental improvements; potentially by working within the remit of existing projects or plans, or by working alongside them to undertake those activities not already being delivered. Ø

2005 Winchester BAP - A local biodiversity action plan for the district of Winchester – Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust

Ø

2006 Itchen Navigation Heritage Trail Project - Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust Test & Itchen Catchment Abstraction Management Strategy - Environment Agency Southampton City Council’s Biodiversity Action Plan – Southampton City Council

Ø

2007 20


River Itchen SSSI Water Level Management Plan - Environment Agency River Test SSSI Water Level Management Plan - Environment Agency Ø

2008 The Local Biodiversity Action Plan for Test Valley – Test Valley Borough Council River Anton Enhancement Strategy - Environment Agency / Test Valley Borough Council Your Test Valley Plan - Test Valley Partnership Test & Itchen Countryside Access Plan - Hampshire County Council

Ø

2009 South East River Basin Management Plan - Environment Agency Stockbridge River Restoration Strategy - National Trust Winnall Moors Restoration - Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust North Wessex Downs AONB Management Plan –North Wessex Downs AONB

Ø

2010 North Solent Shoreline Management Plan - New Forest District Council Eel Management Plans for the South East River Basin District – Environment Agency PUSH Green Infrastructure Strategy – UE Associates Rural Sediment Tracing Project – Environment Agency River Test & Itchen Shading Strategy - Environment Agency / Natural England Solent Forum Business Plan – Solent Forum WWF Rivers on the Edge –WWF Living Landscapes: Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council Natural Environment Strategy - Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council South Downs National Park (SDNP) Nitrate Modelling Project – SDNP Authority

Ø

2011 River Itchen Sea Trout & Salmon Catchment Summary - Environment Agency River Test Sea Trout & Salmon Catchment Summary - Environment Agency Catchment Sensitive Farming South East & Thames River Basin District Strategy - Catchment Sensitive Farming / Natural England Monks Brook and River Itchen INNS Project - Eastleigh Borough Council

Ø

2012

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Biodiversity Action Plan for Eastleigh Borough 2012-22 - Eastleigh Borough Council Ø

2013 Romsey Waterways & Wetlands Enhancement Strategy - Test Valley Borough Council Test & Itchen Abstraction Licensing Strategy - Environment Agency Test & Itchen Diffuse Water Pollution Plan - Environment Agency / Natural England Solent European Marine Sites (SEMS) Delivery Plan – SEMS / Solent Forum Draft Water Resources Management Plan for 2015 – 2040 – Southern Water Draft Business Plan for 2015 – 2020 – Southern Water Test & Itchen Restoration Strategy - Environment Agency Hampshire Minerals & Waste Plan - Hampshire County Council Hampshire Groundwater Management Plan - Hampshire County Council Hampshire's Local Flood Risk Management Strategy - Hampshire County Council

Ø

2014 River Itchen SAC Site Improvement Plan – Natural England River Catchment Invertebrate Fingerprinting Programme – Wessex Chalk Stream & Rivers Trust South Downs National Park (SDNP) Partnership Management Plan – SDNP Authority Water Resources Management Plan for 2015 – 2040 – Southern Water

The views and opinions provided by stakeholders and the additional data and evidence, gathered as part of the partnerships strategic review, have all been used in the next section of the plan to identify issues, existing actions and opportunities, within four key themes; Ø Ø Ø Ø

Water Quality Water Quantity Channel / Habitat / Biodiversity Recreation and Community Engagement.

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KEY THEMES

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4.0. WATER QUALITY AIMS: Identify, monitor and reduce nutrient input from point sources of pollution and mitigate soil, nutrient and pesticide losses from diffuse sources to benefit surface, groundwater and coastal waters.

4.1. What are the issues? Nutrient Enrichment Nitrogen and phosphorous containing compounds are natural and vital components of a healthy aquatic ecosystem. However, when released into the environment as a result of human activities, they can alter the finely balanced equilibrium of nutrients cycling through the ecosystem and drive the uncontrolled and unbalanced growth of aquatic plants and algae in a process called eutrophication. This can lead to severe problems for aquatic organisms, the ecological health of a waterbody and for humans who also depend on the water for drinking, recreational use or the production of food such as watercress and fish. Sediment and Turbidity Turbidity is a measure of how much suspended material there is in water. There are many factors that can cause turbidity to increase but the most common is the presence of soil and mineral sediments in the water column. These materials are often released following disturbance of the river or lake substrate, but they can also enter the water as a result of erosion and run-off from the land. Increased turbidity results in significant ecological impacts by blocking the penetration of light to aquatic plants, clogging the gills of fish and other organisms and by smothering benthic habitats. It can also increase the intensity and cost of treating water for drinking. Microbial & Parasitic Contamination Microbial pollutants, derived from human and animal faecal matter, pose a significant risk to human health, either when people come in contact with the river or bathing waters and when contaminated water is abstracted for drinking water treatment. They can also have severe negative impacts on the ecological health of the river by increasing turbidity and reducing the levels of dissolved oxygen. The main mechanisms by which faecal material, parasites and faeces-derived substances enter the water course are from, direct ‘voiding’ into the water by livestock, leaching from manure and slurry stores and from consented and unconsented discharges of human sewage. Pesticides Chemicals used to kill and control ‘pest’ organisms are commonly referred to as ‘pesticides’. When used with care, they can deliver substantial benefits including; the availability of good quality, reasonably priced food and well managed urban environments. However, despite these benefits it is essential to note that large amounts of pesticides often miss their intended target and are lost into

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the environment where they can contaminate non-target species, air, water and sediments. By their very nature, pesticides can pose a significant threat to ecosystem health, biodiversity and human health if they are not used with appropriate care and consideration. 4.2. Where are the pressures? è Fig 17: Water quality priority areas, drivers and receiving features

There are three principal locations where degradation of the water quality in our streams and rivers can result in the loss of ecosystems service provision; 1) within the aquatic ecosystems themselves, 2) at downstream locations in the river system, and 3) where water is abstracted for the provision of drinking water. Distribution of these features across the catchment is shown in the map in Figure 17. These features are critical in targeting any work proposed in the Catchment Action Plan.

WFD classifications also provide a good indication of where the main pressures exist. The groundwater ‘chemical status’ map illustrates that the groundwater which supplies the majority of base flow to the rivers and streams in the catchment is failing in the majority of places for nitrates, pesticides and solvents. The classification for ‘phosphorous’ and for ‘diatoms’, as shown in the maps in Figure 20 and 21, also provide an indication of nutrient pressures on surface water quality.

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è Fig 18: WFD Overall Status (2013)

è Fig 19: Groundwater Status (2013)

è Fig 20: Phosphorous Status (2013)

è Fig 21: Diatom Status (2013)

Map 3: Risk Maps The maps below indicate areas at highest risk from pollution. Either from proximity to a point source of pollution, or as shown in the map on the right, from diffuse pollution. The diffuse pollution risk is derived from assessing a combination of factors such as land use, soil risk, slope and hydrological connectivity. 26


"

è Fig 22: Risk of Point sources of Pollution Map

NE dataset from NE GIS data website www.naturalengland.org.uk/publications/data

Publically accessible woodlands Should$be$obtained$from$the$Forestry$ Commission$or$Woodland$Trust

SepOc$Tanks$idenOfied$as$properOes$ (AL2,$VectorMap$or$MasterMap)$ with$no$EA$Discharge$Consent$and$ not$on$the$sewer$network.$ Road$runoff$risk$sites$idenOfied$ where$main$roads$cross$main$rivers.$

Access Land

Public open spaces (parks & gardens) & other visitor attractions (open farms, leisure parks)

People can access ‘open access land’ or ‘access land’ across Britain without using Public Rights of Way Woodlands with public access can be mapped using data from the Forestry Commission. The English Heritage 'Register of Historic Parks and Gardens of special historic interest in England‘ currently identifies over 1,600 sites assessed to be of national importance.

è Fig 23: Diffuse Pollution Risk English heritage GIS website

www.services.english-heritage.org.uk/ NMRDataDownload/

Lakes & reservoirs OS Open Data - Strategi

Designated Bathing Waters EA dataset from Geostore www.geostore.com/environment-agency

Accessible heritage sites English heritage GIS website www.services.english-heritage.org.uk/ NMRDataDownload/

Urban areas OS Open Data - Strategi

Larger waterbodies are popular recreational resources (blue spaces) for people wanting to do water sports, angling, swimming etc. A bathing water is one where a large number of people ~100 people) are expected to bathe at any one time. Many World Heritage Sites/Landscapes and Scheduled Ancient Monuments (SAMs) have public access.

Assessing the provision of t

are a huge number of pollutants that can be derived from so-called point sources (outfalls, discharges, The data presented here gives flavour of the infrastructure that exists – public rights of way remain to be mapped, but will allow the mis-connections, etc..) and it is important to consider the location and contribution of these alongside evels of access to greenspace/open spaces to be assessed in more detail. ! ation of the different diffuse sources when making an assessment of the water quality problem in a ent and designing a programme of interventions to correct it.

Urban areas themselves are key recreational spaces.

Linear features

Source apportionment Data / information

Notes

The sources of different pollutants occurring in a Public Rights of Way Includes footpaths, permissive paths & catchment can be estimated a variety of data, water bridle paths.

Cycle routes & long Important recreational infrastructure. Source Apportionment GIS (SAGIS) is one of these distance paths

tools, which estimates the load, concentration and Minor roads, tracks and Important recreational infrastructure for sources of nutrient across paths pollution in waterbodies walking, cycling etc. an entire catchment area.

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Point attractions Data / information Car parks OS Open Data - Strategi

Accommodation Heritage/historical interest attractions

Notes Important recreational infrastructure. The$Source$ApporOonment$GIS$ (SAGIS)$tool$(CaBA$Data$Package)$ indicates$the$scale$and$sector$ Important recreational sources$of$phosphate$polluOon. $

infrastructure.

Important recreational infrastructure.

4.3. What is already being done? Regulatory Action: The entire catchment is included as a Nitrate Vulnerable Zone and all farmers receiving a single farm payment, from the EU, have to comply with Good Agricultural and Environmental Condition (GAEC) standards in addition to UK and European legislation. There are also a number of areas that have been designated as Source Protection Zones, Safeguard Zones or Drinking Water Protected Areas in order to protect public drinking water supplies. In addition to this, there is legislation controlling discharges to surface water bodies and groundwater. WFD protected areas within transitional and coastal waters include Bathing Waters and Shellfish Waters as located within Southampton Water and the Solent. These areas are sensitive to pollution from various sources, such as run-off from agricultural land or waste water discharges. Plans & Strategies: Ø

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 27

Water Quality

(PROW)

quality monitoring and modelling techniques. The


measures to address water quality, particularly addressing diffuse pollution from agriculture and point source pollution from sewage treatment works, as well as watercress and fish farming operations.

Ø Test & Itchen Diffuse Water Pollution Plan - Environment Agency / Natural England This plan is dedicated to addressing diffuse pollution across the riverine and coastal SSSI units in the Test and Itchen Catchment. It calls for the continuation of the existing land management schemes, shown below, and also identifies a need for further evidence to secure future mechanisms to reduce diffuse pollution. In addition to looking to build a stronger evidence base it sets out a number of ‘on the ground’ actions aimed at a range of stakeholders, including the agricultural sector, fisheries managers, watercress farming, local authorities and residents.

Ø Environmental Stewardship Schemes & New Environmental Land Management Schemes – Natural England / DEFRA Environmental Stewardship is an agri-environment scheme that was open to all farmers and provided a financial incentive for entering into voluntary management agreements to deliver environmental enhancements and protection. The scheme offered a number of ‘soil and water’ options, which incentivized farmers to protect water courses, for example planting buffer strips adjacent to a water course to prevent run-off. The scheme is due to be replaced by New Environmental Land Management Schemes (NELMS) in 2015.

Ø Catchment Sensitive Farming South East & Thames River Basin District Strategy - Catchment Sensitive Farming / Natural England The strategy outlines the approach for the delivery of the 3rd Phase of Catchment Sensitive Farming in the South East river basin district. It sets out the list of measures available to farmers to help mitigate the impact of their activities on the water environment and shows the priority areas for targeting advice and funding in the Test and Itchen Catchment. There is a degree of uncertainty over what funding will be committed to Catchment Sensitive Farming beyond 2015.

28


Other Initiatives: Ø Rural Sediment Tracing Project – Environment Agency Ø Anglers Monitoring Initiative – Riverfly Partnership Ø South Downs National Park (SDNP) Collaborative Nitrate Modelling Project – SDNP Authority Ø River Catchment Invertebrate Fingerprinting Programme – Wessex Chalk Stream & Rivers Trust Ø Draft Business Plan for 2015 – 2020 – Southern Water Ø Development of a Catchment Management Strategy – Portsmouth Water

4.4. What can the partnership do? Sediment Pathways: The Test & Itchen SSSI Diffuse Water Pollution Plan identifies an opportunity for the Catchment Partnership to co-ordinate efforts with local authorities to reduce sediment and other contaminants (e.g. pesticides, oils etc.) from tracks, roads and urban areas, as well as from other activities and landholdings. This opportunity has also been independently identified by a number of stakeholders. Waste Water Management: The partnership has identified an opportunity to work with communities, business and water companies to reduce the negative impacts of waste water within the catchment. This may include reduction of fats, oils and greases through engagement and education and reduction of litter and pollutants reaching waterbodies through the Yellow Fish Project. The Test & Itchen SSSI Diffuse Water Pollution Plan also identifies an opportunity for the Catchment Partnership to deliver an awareness campaign for ‘best practice’ management of non-mains effluent. Again, a number of stakeholders particularly from the upper catchment have indicated that they would be supportive of this kind of approach. Diffuse Water Pollution from Agriculture: Stakeholders agree that the Partnership should explore opportunities for catchment management and delivering on-farm advice to support work already being carried out to mitigate diffuse water pollution from agriculture, particularly outside of area receiving advice and support through Catchment Sensitive Farming. There is also an opportunity to support the forthcoming delivery phase of the Collaborative Nitrate Modelling Project, utilising catchment management as a tool for mitigating the rising levels of nitrates in the catchment’s groundwater chalk aquifers. Targeting nitrates will also afford an opportunity to address other agricultural practices that are contributing to diffuse water pollution issues in the catchment. These actions would benefit riverine, groundwater and transitional/coastal water protected sites. Mitigating the Impacts of Consented Discharges These is the potential to develop projects to mitigate the impacts of consented discharges through engagement with homeowners, watercress growers, fish farms and water companies. Creation of sediment traps and Integrated Constructed Wetlands may be explored to improve quality of discharged waste water, and in-stream habitat enhancement or restoration may be implemented to mitigate ecological impacts through provision of additional habitat heterogeneity and increased oxygenation. There is an opportunity for partner organisations and volunteers to undertake walkover surveys and sampling to identify discharges resulting in visible organic pollution and litter, 29


allowing identification of potential improvements through co-ordination with water companies and regulators. These actions would be beneficial to riverine, groundwater and transitional/coastal water protected sites. Monitoring: There is an opportunity to help improve early warning signals for pollution incidents by engaging local communities and interest groups in citizen science projects throughout the catchment. Potential project opportunities include: • •

• •

Expanding the coverage of the Riverfly Partnership’s Anglers Monitoring Initiative, with particular focus upon the angling community Training of community interest groups and volunteers to undertake local catchment walkovers to identify point-source pollution, waste water misconnections and diffusesource water pollution from agriculture (already trialled with a conservation a group in an Itchen headwater) Gathering of regular water chemistry samples by community volunteers utilising simple field test kits, co-ordinated and interpreted by lead partners and used to collect pre and post project delivery data sets. Training and co-ordination of community pollution volunteers to rapidly respond to lower category pollution incidents reported to the Environment Agency

30


5.0. WATER QUANTITY AIMS: Increase water attenuation, slow run-off, improve resilience to low flows and climate change, increase aquifer re-charge, and improve management of water.

5.1. What are the issues? Abstraction and low flows The Test & Itchen supply much of Hampshire’s public water needs, including a large proportion of the Isle of Wight’s requirements. There are a number of significant surface water abstractions as well as groundwater abstractions from the chalk. The catchment also supports a large number of commercial fish farms and watercress growers who are dependent on reliable and abundant water supplies. Although the majority of abstraction is non-consumptive and returns water locally the overall impact of abstraction puts pressure on flows and can potentially lead to rivers not having enough water to support a healthy ecosystem. Flooding With changes in climate affecting rainfall patterns and larger areas of land being covered for development and thus losing their natural ability to drain water, flooding has become an increasingly apparent issue in recent years. Groundwater flooding is a particular problem for many parts of the catchment and following heavy rainfall events it is often exacerbated by surface water flooding. Water level management Chalk streams and their associated floodplains are heavily modified systems, historically managed to supply water to water meadows, mills and fish farms through a complex system of carriers and leats. Whilst many of these original activities are no longer practiced, the continued use of the numerous structures within the catchments has a great influence on the character of the rivers and both positive and negative impacts upon their associated biodiversity. Sensitive water level management can create inundated wetlands supporting a wide range of locally rare species, whilst poor management can result in prevention of fish passage, mobilisation or deposition of silt and nutrients, and low flows to the detriment of healthy ecosystems. 5.2. Where are the pressures? There are a number of locations in the catchment landscape where a reduced ability to maintain base flows during periods of low rainfall will exert a negative impact. Water quantity has a direct bearing on the effluent volumes that can be discharged from point sources of pollution, where sufficient flows are needed to ensure the effluent is diluted appropriately downstream. Abstraction licenses for drinking water supplies also depend on maintenance of sufficient base flows and 31


gest challenge in assessing the provision of resources and accessible land for recreation and cultural activities is mapping the provision of those opportunities across the landscape catchment and to examine the way that these opportunities were

Nature reserves

d and managed. Only when this assessment has been made can the level of provision be assessed and compared to the level quired by the residential and business communities.

NE dataset from NE GIS data website www.naturalengland.org.uk/publications/data

a presented here gives flavour of the infrastructure that exists – public rights of way remain to be mapped, but will allow the

NE dataset from NE GIS data website www.naturalengland.org.uk/publications/data

Access Land

access to greenspace/open spaces to be assessed in more detail. ! Publically accessible woodlands Should$be$obtained$from$the$Forestry$ Commission$or$Woodland$Trust

People can access ‘open access land’ or ‘access land’ across Britain without using Public Rights of Way Woodlands with public access can be mapped using data from the Forestry Commission.

similarly, rivers and streams require sufficient flow during dry periods to remain in good ecological Public open spaces (parks The English Heritage 'Register of & gardens) & other visitor Historic Parks and Gardens of special condition. attractions (open farms, leisure parks)

historic interest in England‘ currently identifies over 1,600 sites assessed to be of national importance.

At the other end of the spectrum, there are many locations where the unregulated release of water from the land and into our rivers can pose a threat to people living in the catchment and cause Lakes & reservoirs Larger waterbodies are popular recreational resources (blue spaces) for community disruption. In addition to residential properties there may also be locations where people wanting to do water sports, angling, swimming etc. important buildings and other critical infrastructure are at risk of flooding. The properties and Designated Bathing Waters A bathing water is one where a large number of people ~100 people) are infrastructure at risk of being flooded are shown in Figure 26 which cross-references settlements expected to bathe at any one time. against flood risk zones and surface water flood risk areas to identify where theresites is a risk of flooding Accessible heritage Many World Heritage Sites/Landscapes and Scheduled Ancient Monuments (SAMs) have public access. and damage to property or threatening human health and safety. English heritage GIS website

www.services.english-heritage.org.uk/ NMRDataDownload/

OS Open Data - Strategi

EA dataset from Geostore www.geostore.com/environment-agency

English heritage GIS website

www.services.english-heritage.org.uk/ NMRDataDownload/

Urban areas OS Open Data - Strategi

Urban areas themselves are key recreational spaces.

Linear features Data / information

è Fig 24: Base flow priority areas & features

Notes

Public Rights of Way Includes footpaths, permissive paths & Priority areas for drought alleviation è Fig 25: Water reliability (% of the time) (PROW) bridle paths.

There are a number of locations in a catchment landscape Cycle routes & long Important recreational infrastructure. where a reduced ability distance paths for an ecosystem to maintain base

flows in rivers during periods of lowImportant rainfallrecreational will exert a Minor roads, tracks and infrastructure for negative impact. paths walking, cycling etc. Water quantity in a river has a direct bearing on the effluent volumes andPoint concentrations attractions that can be discharged from

45

point sources of pollution. Sufficient flows are required to Data / information Notes ensure that effluent is diluted appropriately downstream. Car parks

Important recreational infrastructure.

Accommodation

Important recreational infrastructure.

Where abstraction intake licences exist for drinking water OS Open Data - Strategi supply there is a clear need for baseflows to be maintained.

Rivers also require sufficient flow during dry periods to remain Heritage/historical interest Important recreational infrastructure. in good ecological condition. attractions

#

Drinking Water Abstractions Data / information

Notes

Drinking Water Protected Areas (DrWPAs)

WFD waterbodies where drinking water for public supply occurs are designated Drinking Water Protected Areas (DrWPAs) – these can be mapped from the EA WFD Classification data.

EA dataset from Geostore www.geostore.com/environment-agency

Abstraction Locations EA dataset from Geostore www.geostore.com/environment-agency Not currently included as not obtained yet.

Sewage effluent dilution – Sewage Treatment Works

ological Health

ation

Notes

ogical health

Waterbodies where flow may be driving degradation in ecological health can be identified from the EA’s Reason for Failure database

$Database$can$be$

National Nature Reserves (NNR) and Local Nature Reserves (LNR) are the best sites in England for seeing wildlife.

Data / information Sewage Treatment Works (STWs) EA dataset from Geostore www.geostore.com/environment-agency

Notes STWs can have a significant impact on water quality - STWs can be mapped using the EA Discharge Consents dataset (optionally in comparison or supplemented with water company data).

Private water supplies Should be recorded by Local Authorities, but not included as not currently available.

Abstraction locations are obtained in the EA’s NALD Abstraction Licences dataset. Permitted details for these abstractions are not included in the data, but can be obtained from the EA or water company locally. These low volume abstractions (<20m3/day), where treatment is often minimal, can be severely impacted by degraded raw water quality. Have been mapped by some Local Authorities, who took responsibility for their regulation in 2011, but this would require local investigation

32


è Fig 26: Infrastructure at risk from flooding

è Fig 27: Historic flood map

5.3. What is already being done? Regulatory: To take water from rivers, groundwater and other sources, an abstraction license from the Environment Agency will generally be required. Similarly, to create or alter an impoundment, permission will be required from the Environment Agency to obtain an impoundment. Waterbodies that are used, or planned to be used, for the abstraction of water intended for human consumption; and providing, or planned to provide, a total of more than 10 cubic metres of water per day on average, or serving, or planned to serve, more than 50 people have been classified as Drinking Water Protected Areas. Finally, for flood risk management purposes, the Water Resources Act 1991 and associated byelaws require an application for consent from the Environment Agency to cover any works that are proposed in, over, under or adjacent to main rivers. Plans & Strategies: Ø

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

33


handful of key actions for the Test and Itchen Catchment. With regards to water quantity, the plan identified actions to modify abstraction licences.

Ø Test & Itchen Abstraction Licensing Strategy - Environment Agency This Licensing Strategy sets out how water resources are managed in the Test & Itchen CAMS area. It provides information about where water is available for further abstraction and an indication of how reliable a new abstraction licence may be. In the Test catchment there is only water available for abstraction at high flows with any reliability but there is a restricted amount of water available at mid flows. In the Itchen catchment future abstraction is restricted to very high flows. There is a presumption against issuing new consumptive licenses from the Chalk of the Test and Itchen. The Restoring Sustainable Abstraction (RSA) process is also on-going to review those existing abstraction licences which may be damaging the environment. The strategy sets out the approaches to be taken in specific areas of the catchment. Under the Restoring Sustainable Abstraction programme, the Environment Agency is changing two water company licences and three fish farm licences on the Itchen. It also takes any opportunity to reduce or recover under-used or unused licences. Ø SSSI Water Level Management Plans- Environment Agency Water Level Management Plans (WLMPs) are required where drainage and/or flood control may affect the nature conservation interest of water–dependent SSSIs such as the Rivers Test and Itchen. The Itchen WLMP identified actions, preliminary cost estimates and a forward programme for the on-going delivery of the WLMP. Subsequent phases of feasibility, detailed design & implementation have seen work undertaken to all necessary key structures in order to enable appropriate management of water levels. Subsequently, the project partners have been working to develop 'Hatch Operating Protocols'; these are voluntary agreements, which set out how individual structures should be managed, and agreement of HOPs for all relevant structures is the final outstanding action under the Itchen WLMP. The Test WLMP set out a long-list of potential actions, which were subsequently screened and prioritised to generate an ordered list of 12 proposals. These works, which included structure modification, ditch clearance and improvement of vegetation management practices, were taken forward for feasibility work in 2008. We have been unable to find information on what work has been completed. Ø Hampshire Groundwater Management Plan - Hampshire County Council The plan provides settlement-specific action plans for a short list of 10 Hampshire settlements seen to be at most risk from Groundwater flooding. 34


Within the Test & Itchen Catchment there are Settlement Action Plans for 4 of the 10 high risk areas in the County; including, Kings Worthy, Appleshaw, Bourne Rivulet Villages and Preston Candover. The settlement action plans provide a risk assessment of groundwater flooding for each area and provide a review of existing mitigation measures, as well as suggesting a range of additional sitespecific measures, with a particular emphasis on community engagement in delivering actions and building awareness. Hampshire County Council have also been piloting the ‘Parish Lengthsmen Scheme’ which allows for a local level of maintenance responsibility, for road and land drainage, and can help with reporting during flood incidents. Ø Hampshire's Local Flood Risk Management Strategy - Hampshire County Council The strategy aims to provide an overall strategic direction for local flood risk management for the next fifteen years. It is seen as the first step in a continuous process of understanding flood risk management and securing funding to deliver improvements to local flood risk management. The strategy includes a county-wide risk assessment of fluvial, coastal, sewer, surface water and groundwater flooding. In addition to the description of generic measures, there is also a separate Action Plan, which contains 248 ward-specific action plans, each of which contains a risk assessment for the ward and a proposal of site-specific measures to improve flood management. There is a strong emphasis, in the strategy and the action plan, on developing partnership working between authorities, agencies, other interested parties and community groups. Similarly, the strategy highlights the importance of delivering multiple benefits (e.g. to biodiversity, natural processes and amenity) to attract funding from local and national government.

Ø Water Resources Management Plan for 2015 – 2040 – Southern Water Water Companies plan their resource management activities on a 25 year basis, updating plans every 5 years. The plans seek to balance supply and demand, whilst taking into account costs to the consumer and to the environment. After a period of consultation, Southern Water’s plan was published in October 2014. In the Company’s ‘Western Area’ which includes Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, there are challenges faced in achieving this balance. The plan includes a commitment to reviewing the options currently proposed to secure water resources in this area, to ensure that the most appropriate schemes are selected.

35


5.4. What can the partnership do? Resource Efficiency With Southern Water as a key member of the partnershipâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Core Group, the remaining partners are all well placed to engage with Southern Waterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s activities, including resource efficiency campaigns. With the Partnershipâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s help there is an opportunity to enhance the environmental perspective of these campaigns. Increase Resilience to Climate Change and Low Flows The partnership has identified increasing resilience to climate change and low flows to be a key objective of plan. There is an opportunity to undertake river restoration works to improve resilience to low flows, and to increase resilience to winter flood events within more spate prone subcatchments through river restoration works and increasing connection to the flood plain. In relation to abstraction, there is also an opportunity to work with licence holders to improve sustainability where flows fall below the EFI. Natural Flood Risk Management There is a strong emphasis on partnership working and community involvement in the existing plans to tackle flood risk and management. The TICP could be well placed to help develop the community aspects of these plans, particularly working with landowners and riparian owners to develop natural flood risk management measures such as strategic woodland and wetland creation. Similarly, the TICP could help deliver the wider benefits to biodiversity, natural processes, amenity etc., that are considered to be an important part of accessing funding from central and local government, to deliver flood risk management improvements. Co-ordinate Water Level Management Through previous projects, stakeholders have suggested that coordination of water level management amongst river managers should be improved. There is an opportunity for the Partnership to facilitate this and enable better communication between nearby owners to keep them informed of issues or action taken.

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6.0. Channel / Habitat / Biodiversity AIMS: Increase connectivity with the floodplain, reduce impoundment and barriers to fish, improve resilience to increasing temperatures, enhance habitats for wildlife and control invasive species to benefit surface, groundwaters and marine waters.

6.1 What are the problems? Structure and Function Chalk streams have been historically modified to suit a variety of human purposes such as agriculture, fisheries, flood risk management and the development of watercress beds and mills. The various modifications have altered the natural character of the river and led to systems being potentially over-widened, over deepened, impounded and disconnected with the floodplain. Barriers to Fish In channel weirs and structures are generally linked to negative impacts on the physical and ecological condition of the river. In addition to altering the depth and velocity of flow, structures can also impact on the biological connectivity of the river by limiting fish and invertebrate passage. This can have far reaching impacts upon migratory fish species within transitional and coastal environments. Riparian Management The Test and Itchen catchment has historically been subject to intensive management, and many of these management activities continue today. Within the rivers and floodplains, inappropriate vegetation management practices can impact on the diversity of riparian habitats, causing over widening of sections and impeding the riverâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ability to restore its natural features. Water Temperature Climate change models forecast that average summer air temperature will rise by between 2 and 4 degrees celsius. Rivers and the freshwater ecosystems they support are particularly sensitive to changes in climate and water temperature. For example a rise in water temperature above 22 degrees celsius for more than seven consecutive days can be lethal for brown trout. Non-native Invasive Species & impacts upon Native Chalk Stream communities Traditional chalk stream flora and fauna faces increasing pressure from a range of non-native invasive species that have taken hold within the catchment, including Himalayan Balsam, American mink and most recently the American signal crayfish. Furthermore, dominance of invasive plants can result in increased bankside erosion and sediment input from the riparian environment. In addition, to negative impacts from non-native invasive species, flora and fauna characteristic of chalk streams are threatened by issues including quality and quantity of water, and a decline in habitat availability and connectivity.

37


6.2 Where are the pressures? There are numerous sources of data and evidence available to show the assessment of ecological health and biological richness across the catchment. Designated sites are classified according to their condition and rivers and other aquatic ecosystems are assessed via a number of metrics, included in the WFD ecological assessments, some of which have been be mapped in Figures 28-33 to highlight where certain pressures are most significant. è Fig 28: WFD Ecological Assessments

è Fig 30: Potential barriers to fish

è Fig 29: SSSI Condition Assessments

è Fig 31: Physical modification (EA)*

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*due to be updated in 2018 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. Ø 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 River 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 39


continuation of Catchment Sensitive Farming after 2015 and continued implementation of HLS projects under Countryside Stewardship. Finally it also identifies actions to address low flow issues through the water level management plans and abstraction licensing. Other Initiatives: Ø Itchen Navigation Project - Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust Ø River Anton Enhancement Strategy - Environment Agency / Test Valley Borough Council Ø River Test & Itchen Shading Strategy - Environment Agency / Natural England Ø Stockbridge River Restoration Strategy - National Trust Ø Winnall Moors Project - Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust Ø Monks Brook and River Itchen INNS Project - Eastleigh Borough Council Ø Romsey Waterways & Wetlands Enhancement Strategy - Test Valley Borough Council

6.4. What can the partnership do? Community Action Groups The Partnership should explore opportunities to support and expand existing Community Action Groups; including The Anton River Conservation Association (TARCA), Friends of the Itchen Navigation (FIN), the Cheriton Conservation Group, the Blackwater Conservation Group, the Upper Itchen Initiative and the Bourne Rivulet Initiative. River and Floodplain Restoration There may be collaborative opportunities with a number of existing initiatives, including the Test and Itchen SSSI River Restoration Strategy, Anton Enhancement Strategy and Romsey Waterways and Wetlands Environment Strategy to help deliver enhancement works and help integrate river restoration and biodiversity objectives to increase synergies. In addition, the partnership will promote restoration projects that link rivers to floodplains to improve ecological functionality. Many of the plans in existence refer to the need to raise awareness of best practice management for rivers, including aspects such as the management of riparian and in-channel vegetation, enhancement techniques, and techniques for managing impacts such as public access. Utilising the technical knowledge and educational skills of the Wessex Chalk Stream & Rivers Trust, Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust and other wider partners, the partnership could look to develop and deliver ‘best practice’ training sessions or site visits on ‘river enhancement’ for volunteers, domestic landowners, and rural land managers. There is also an opportunity to add value to existing delivery groups by organising a centralised delivery of training events for existing volunteer groups, such as TARCA, FIN and others. This would make best use of available funds for each of the groups and would create the opportunity for volunteers (and staff) to meet to share best practice and learn from each other’s experiences.

40


Non-Native Invasive Species There are several initiatives that the Partnership could look to help expanded upon and add value to work that is already underway. These include the work being carried out by Eastleigh Borough council to control non-native invasive species and mink control activity being undertaken by the South Downs National Park Authority. Water Temperature The delivery of the ‘Keeping Rivers Cool’ project is already underway but could be enhanced through partnership support, particularly for making contact with key landowners whose land may benefit from works, and by coordinating volunteer planting teams in areas where capacity is currently limited. Public Engagement As well as engaging volunteers, domestic landowners, and rural land managers through sharing of ‘best practice’ training, the partnership can also seek opportunities to engage with the wider community to share information about issues facing the local water environment and encouraging involvement with supporting the work of the partnership. WCSRT has also identified an opportunity to engage with volunteers and local conservation groups to undertake co-ordinated survey and monitoring of Native Chalk Stream and Non-Native Invasive Species within the catchment, encouraging information sharing within the partnership.

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7.0 Recreation & Community Involvement

AIMS: To promote opportunities for local communities to learn about, enjoy and help enhance and protect the water environment.

7.1. What are the issue? The main issue come in seeking to balance the sensitivity of valuable nature conservation areas with the potential stresses and disturbance of public access, whilst also recognising the importance of open green spaces in maintaining the health, well-being and quality of life of local communities in the catchment. 7.2. Where are the pressures? Since people are the main drivers for recreational resource, the pressures on provision of recreational infrastructure will generally be greatest in and around areas with a high population density. è Fig 34: Population Density

è Fig 35: Recreation infrastructure

7.3. What is already being done? Regulatory: Public Rights of Way and the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 provide the public with a legally protected right to pass and re-pass along certain routes and areas of the countryside. 42


-14

Plans & Strategies: Ø Natural Green Space Standard (ANGSt) – Natural England Natural England has developed a nationally consistent standard for the provision of open space called the Accessible Natural Green Space Standard (ANGSt). ANGSt is a useful measure for determining the provision of open space in the wider landscape, as its standards apply specifically to natural greenspace, but it is widely accepted that it is not easily applied to dense urban environments where open space is more likely to be provided via parks and playing fields rather than high quality natural greenspace. Most importantly, this driver for recreational resources is entirely located where there are people to use them.

www.naturalengland.org.uk

‘Nature Nearby’ Accessible Natural Greenspace Guidance

March 2010 Nature Nearby: Accessible Natural Greenspace

1

Ø Test & Itchen Countryside Access Plan - Hampshire County Council Test and Itchen

This plan is part of Hampshire County Council’s ‘Rights of Way Improvement Plan’ and looks at the rights of way network across the catchment as well as other opportunities for people to enjoy the countryside. It identifies a series of issues and the necessary actions to address them. One of the key issues relates to demand for more access to, along and on waterways. Suggested actions include options to enhance existing access and increase opportunities through events.

Countryside Access Plan for the Test & Itchen 2008-2013

6/11/08 10:55:52

Other Initiatives: Ø Itchen Navigation Project - Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust

7.4. What can the partnership do? Public Engagement and Education There is an opportunity for the partnership to add value to existing work by providing centralized promotion of new or existing opportunities for access, such as volunteering opportunities, guided walks, including visits to private sites, waymarked & circular routes and intellectual access, all of which help to raise awareness about the importance of our rivers for wildlife and for the provision of ecosystem services. The improved promotion of existing opportunities may also help to reduce the perception that access is inherently restricted, and reduce calls for new access, which can create tension between users. A list of potential public engagement and education projects determined to be relevant by the partnership are listed below:

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• •

• • • •

Yellow Fish Project – working with local water companies and other stakeholders, the partnership can develop Yellow Fish Projects within communities and urban areas identified as being a high risk source of pollutants via surface water drainage. Beach Litter – partnership organisations can work with volunteer groups to coordinate and deliver beach clean-ups. Urban SUDS – the partnership may work with local councils to encourage creation of Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems such as ‘rain gardens’ to reduce impacts of urban waste water discharges whilst meeting greenspace objectives. Training of community interest groups and volunteers to undertake local catchment walkovers to identify point-source waste water misconnections and diffuse-source water pollution from agriculture (already trialled with a conservation a group in an Itchen headwater), and sources of rural diffuse sediment. Training of community interest groups and volunteers to undertake surveys for native and non-native invasive species; providing skills to volunteers and the public whilst broadening partnership knowledge of distributions. Expanding the coverage of the Riverfly Partnership’s Anglers Monitoring Initiative, with particularly focus upon the angling community Gathering of regular water chemistry samples by community volunteers utilising simple field test kits, co-ordinated and interpreted by lead partners and used to collect pre and post project delivery data sets. Training and co-ordination of community pollution volunteers to rapidly respond to lower category pollution incidents reported to the Environment Agency

44


OUTCOMES

45


8.0. PARTNERSHIPS FOR ACTION 8.1. Summary of Opportunities The opportunities identified by the partnership’s strategic review of issues and existing actions are summarised in the table below. A. WATER QUALITY 1. Sediment pathways: reduce the amount of fine sediment reaching the watercourse. 2. Phosphate and Non-mains sewerage: raise awareness of negative implications of phosphate pollution from domestic waste water and of poorly managed private sewerage. Promote best practice with regards to both. 3. Water friendly Farming: Engage with landowners and farmers to support existing work to mitigate soil, nutrient and pesticide loss. Particularly with regards to groundwater. 4. Anglers Monitoring Initiative: Engage with anglers and local communities to increase coverage of existing river fly monitoring programme. 5. Watercress Exemplar: Work with a watercress grower to deliver improvements to the management of sediment and nutrients, and facilitate best practice sharing B. WATER QUANTITY

C. CHANNEL / HABITAT & BIODIVERSITY

1. WaterEfficiency: work with water companies to help deliver water efficiency campaigns. 2. NEP / Resilience: work with abstraction license holders to deliver river restoration works that will improve resilience to low flows. 3. Co-ordinate water level management: facilitate communication and agreement between water level managers. 4. Natural flood management: Increase water attenuation with strategic woodland and wetland creation.

1. Water Temperature: Enhance delivery of ‘Keeping Rivers Cool’. 2. White clawed crayfish conservation: Support habitat enhancement, promote biosecurity, and facilitate captive rearing initiatives 3. Invasive Species: Help expand and add value to existing INNS initiatives. 4. On-line Lake restoration: Investigate the feasibility of schemes to reduce the impacts of on-line lakes, such as sediment stabilisation or ‘off-lining’, and secure resources for implementation 5. Floodplain Management: Work with and support land managers including via the promotion of traditional management measures. 6. River and floodplain Restoration: Explore collaborative opportunities to deliver river restoration works, with a focus on the restoration of natural processes. 7. Migratory Fish: Deliver enhancement of juvenile and spawning habitat, and secure fish passage via removal of modification of structures where possible.

D. RECREATION, 46


HERITAGE & COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

1. Community Catchment Planning: Support local landowners, community groups and others in taking an active role is enhancing and managing their local catchments. 2. Built Heritage Restoration: Seek opportunities to preserve or restore historic structures, both for heritage value and where they may play a role in environmentally beneficial management (e.g. managing wetlands, providing flood attenuation) 3. Getting Hooked: Engage young people in chalk rivers and fishing heritage 4. Open Rivers: Promote an equivalent of the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Open Gardensâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; scheme for riparian land holdings in order to increase engagement and understanding of chalk rivers amongst local communities. 5. Citizen Science: Expand the uptake of a range of schemes to increase data capture and community engagement 6. Education Projects: Works with local schools to support the adoption of education initiatives such as Mayfly in the Classroom 7. Support initiatives to reduce marine litter

Priority Projects

8.2. Prioritisation of Opportunities Having established a number of opportunities for action, the partnership sought to prioritise these by creating a framework of partnership projects that will enable core partners and stakeholders to work together to deliver actions that will lead to improvements in each of the opportunity areas. A series of 20 outline project proposals was developed to reflect each of the opportunity areas. These project proposals were then presented as part of a Pledge Event in June 2014, at which stakeholders were invited to help prioritise projects by voting, providing suggestions on how projects could be developed and by pledging their support to help deliver projects. This process embodied the stakeholder involvement and partnership ethos of the catchment based approach, with priorities for action being determined by the level of stakeholder support. Following the pledge event, a further prioritisation exercise, based upon consideration of the strategic review of the catchment, the results of stakeholder engagement and the expertise of the core group members, was undertaken by the steering group at a meeting in July 2014. 8.3. Projects and Partnerships for Action The initial projects that the partnership has collectively agreed to take forward are show in the table below. Those areas not shortlisted will not be ignored but will be revisited periodically, and incorporated into future work plans as directed by future reviews.

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For each of the initial projects, ‘Project Initiation Documents’, have been drafted and working groups including core partners and wider stakeholders have been established to create a series of partnerships for determining and delivering actions within each project area. Further information and web-based ‘Action Cards’ for the individual projects will be available through the partnership’s website - www.ticp.org.uk - which will comprise the second part of this Catchment Action Plan and will continually be updated as projects progress and are delivered. 8.4. What can you do to get involved? There are a large number of individuals and organisations who are actively involved in the catchment partnership and that would welcome the support of other stakeholders in the catchment, so If you feel you can contribute to the partnership in any way or would like to find out more information about how you can help by getting involved the please contact either:

C. WATER QUALITY:

D. WATER QUANTITY

6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

5. 6. 7. 8.

Sediment Pathways * Phosphate & Non-Mains Sewerage Water friendly Farming Anglers Monitoring Initiative * Watercress Exemplar

C. CHANNEL / HABITAT / BIODIVERSITY 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14.

Keeping Rivers Cool White clawed crayfish conservation INNS awareness & control * On-line Lake Restoration Floodplain management River and Wetland Restoration Migratory Fish (Passage, Spawning)

www.wcsrt.org.uk

Water Efficiency * NEP / Resilience Projects Water Level Management Natural Flood Management schemes

D. RECREATION. HERITAGE & COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14.

Community Catchment Planning Built Heritage Restoration Getting Hooked Open Rivers Scheme Citizen Science – P, INNS, Riverfly * Education Projects ‘Beauty & the Beach’

www.hiwwt.org.uk

Also, please see the links below for ideas and advice that relating to:

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Riparian owners and fisheries managers: Contact us to find out about delivering river restoration works and potential funding opportunities through the Test & Itchen River Restoration Strategy. Keep us informed of issues affecting the river in your local area. Farm businesses: Contact your local Catchment Sensitive Farming officer and Campaign for the Farmed Environment coordinator for advice on how to protect soil and water resources, improve wildlife and save money. Visit: www.cfeonline.org.uk Community: Contact the Wessex Chalk Stream & Rivers Trust or Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust to find out about volunteering opportunities by visiting Wessex Chalk Stream and Rivers Trust (www.wcsrt.org.uk) and Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust (www.hiwwt.org.uk), or contact a local community action group including The Anton River Conservation Association (TARCA), Friends of the Itchen Navigation (FIN), the Cheriton Conservation Group, or the Blackwater Conservation Group to get involved in local conservation volunteer projects. Get in touch with Southern Water (www.southernwater.co.uk) to discover how you can help save water, or contact the River Fly Partnership (www.riverflies.org) to find out about opportunities to get involved in the Anglers Monitoring Initiative.

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www.ticp.org.uk

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2018 TICP CAP  

Test and Itchen Catchment Partnership Catchment Action Plan - 2018 update

2018 TICP CAP  

Test and Itchen Catchment Partnership Catchment Action Plan - 2018 update

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