The Slea catchment was identified as an area with many issues by the Witham Partnership and in need of further study. We were successful in applying for a small pot of funding from Natural England to look into the river corridor habitat enhancement opportunities in the town of Sleaford. We focused on the biodiversity benefits and amenity value that could be acheived in the town by improving the river corridor and connecting green spaces. This type of project is known as an Urban Opportunities Study(UOS) and can help to prioritise where funds should be spent in order to gain multiple benefits.
Clear Environmental Ltd were successful in winning the contract and soon set about gathering all the relevant parties together for initial meetings. It was evident from the start that there were many interested and passionate groups who wanted to improve their river and create beautiful green spaces for all to enjoy. Our consultants then went out and surveyed the whole of the river Slea corridor through the town and the Nine Foot river too. The results were mapped, along with the historic and current species records, and the opportunities were then added to another map.
Lincolnshire Rivers Trust have taken forward a project from the plan and gained Catchment Partnership Action Fund funding from DEFRA to restore a 1.5km stretch of the Slea upstream of the town. This project is currently underway and a full write up will follow in due course.
The Sleaford Navigation Trust are also seeking funding in order to take forward a project to re-stabilise the banks, create marginal habitat and prevent silt from entering the river further downstream of Sleaford.
We are confident that our UOS plan will be used to shape the way the river Slea is restored and green spaces are developed in Sleaford in the years to come - as and when funding becomes available. It is a resource for all to use. So if you are a riparian owner or need some advice on how best to manage your part of the Slea Catchment for the benefit of mulitple species and water quality itself do get in touch:firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you to all our partners, everyone who participated in this project, Natural England for funding it and Clear Environmental Ltd for their hard work.
To keep the momentum going after the UOS project was finished and to get more detailed recommendations on river restoration, we also invited the Wild Trout Trust along to take a look at the River Slea through their Trout in the Town initiative. Tim Jacklin carried out a walkover survey with us and sume of our partners. We have worked closley with Tim to develop our Slea restoration project and will conitnue to work under Tim's experienced guidance throughtout delivery.
© 2018 Lincolshire Rivers Trust