Sparkling Streams


Sparkling Streams

Action for the River Kennet (ARK) are pleased to be working with North Wessex Downs AONB, Hungerford Town and Manor and the Southern Streams Farmer Group on our new Sparkling Streams project.

COVID rules permitting there will be plenty of opportunity for community involvement so keep an eye on our events page to find out how you can get invoved!

We are recruiting for a Conservation Project Officer to support this project. More details are here.

Background

ARK worked with North Wessex Downs AONB to pull the project elements together and were delighted to receive funding from the Green Recovery Challenge Fund at the end of 2020 for the project, which will run until March 2022.

The Sparkling Streams Project takes a catchment based approach to improving some of the failing rivers in the Kennet catchment. It builds on years of catchment sensitive farming work by ARK, FWAG and Natural England, and
 river restoration by the Environment Agency, ARK and the Kennet Catchment Partership.

The Project

ARK will be helping to restore the degraded tributaries of the River Kennet SSSI, whilst Hungerford Town and Manor will significantly enhance the river at Eddington Mill, Hungerford. ARK will work with Shalbourne Primary School to build a new rain garden and the Southern Streams Farmer Group will support the project by allowing hedge and tree planting, leaky dams and wetlands to be built on their land.

Chalk streams are globally rare and the project is helping to reverse centuries of mis-management through the following actions:

·         Nature Conservation and restoration – the project will significantly contribute to chalk river channel habitat restoration and enhancement; we will remove impediments to fish migration and also create new wetland and hedge and woodland habitats.

·         Nature Based Solutions - sediment ponds, leaky dams and new wetland will be created to clean water feeding into Wilton Water and the rivers. Strategic planting of  hedges and trees will slow overland flows, reducing soil erosion, improving water quality, mitigating climate change.

·         Connecting People  –  we will be working with volunteers. The Shalbourne school community will construct a rain garden to reduce pressure on the sewerage system. Three schools will be taking part in River School activities.

Watch this short film about the project made by the North Wessex Downs AONB with the help of the project Partners.


This project is funded by the government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund. The fund is being delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England and the Environment Agency.