Building Resilience – Looking forward to a diverse and healthy Lower Witham.
The Lower Witham suffered a catastrophic pollution event this year, understood to be caused by elevated Ammonia levels. It is estimated that over 100,000 thousand fish were killed by, along with a countless amount of other biodiversity such as macroinvertebrates. The pollution incident is currently under investigation by the Environment Agency. Due to the complexity and length of time of these types of investigations, Lincolnshire Rivers Trust want to start acting now to help the Witham recover, and build resilience for the future. Therefore, we have produced a strategy to help focus our work:
Lincolnshire Rivers Trust Five Point Strategy for the Lower Witham:
- Enable fish and eel passage – reconnecting fish with isolated habitats will be one of our biggest challenges. We will find opportunities to work with partners to make obstructions passable and reconnect important aquatic habitat.
- Control and manage invasive plant species - invasive plant species threaten our native species in many ways, such as blocking out light and competing for space, reducing biodiversity. We will continue our campaign against invasive species by extending the range of Witham Watch to the lower Witham and educating relevant stakeholders.
- Protect and restore riparian habitat – by promoting and facilitating good farming practice to reduce bank erosion, sediment run off and other point source and diffuse pollution sources. Where required, we will work with landowners to plant trees and improve bank stability.
- Monitor water quality and ecology – we hope to build a team of volunteers to help us monitor water quality and the ecology of the river, helping us to focus our efforts and alert us to any potential issues that may arise.
- Develop projects to improve fish habitat and migration on the Delphs and tributaries - by connecting the river back to the floodplain, re-meandering and/or installing in-river solutions to introduce a more natural flow, the Delphs and tributaries of the Lower Witham could provide more diverse habitats.
We are a small charity and can't do this alone. We hope to work with other local conservation groups, angling clubs, landowners, businesses and communities to make the Lower Witham a vibrant, biodiverse and healthy river once again.
If you would like to help or support our work we would love to hear from you. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org