Improving the River

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How we’re working to improve the River Mease

The River Mease was designated as SSSI/SAC as it represents one of the best examples of an unspoilt meandering lowland river, which supports characteristic habitats and species.

There are opportunities to make the river even better to support more wildlife and to ensure these important species continue to thrive and are more resilient to climate change.

Modifications such as weir construction, over-deepening of the channel, land use change and agricultural intensification have, in combination, led to a reduction in the diversity of natural habitats. The restoration of a more naturally functioning channel and the reconnection of the river to the floodplain will help to provide more suitable habitat for wildlife. Restoration would also help increase resilience of the river system to the more extreme high and low flows expected in future because of climate change.

Water quality is also a key issue, so organisations are already working closely together to address the negative impact it’s having particularly high levels of phosphorous) from sewage treatment works, road runoff and agricultural land.

Himalayan Balsam, a non-native invasive plant which colonises the river banks, is also being eradicated, which will help native riverside plant species to thrive.

There are a number of initiatives being undertaken to improve the river which are being delivered by the partner organisation. Each initiative is funded through a variety of mechanisms.