A partnership of 15 organisations, including Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, has secured just under £2 million from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The funding will be used to deliver a five-year Landscape Partnership Scheme called Watercress and Winterbournes, which will see the partners work closely with
local communities to restore and celebrate seven chalk streams. These are the Bourne Rivulet, Candover Brook, Cheriton Stream, Pillhill Brook, River Arle, Upper Anton, and Upper Test.
The Rivers Test and Itchen are iconic features of the Hampshire landscape, but the chalk streams that give them life are among its greatest hidden treasures. These globally scarce environments are home to species like water vole, brown trout, and white-clawed crayfish, and have inspired a rich cultural heritage. Unfortunately, these special waters face increasing pressure from issues like pollution, loss of habitat, and poor land management.
After two years of development, the partners have been awarded £1,937,800 of National Lottery funding to undertake a wide range of activities. These include enhancing habitats, protecting rare species, repairing historic structures, and tackling pressures like flooding. Community members have played a central role in shaping the scheme and will be at the heart of its delivery. With training and support from the partners, residents will be empowered to safeguard their streams for many years to come.
We would like to thank all the people who gave their time, energy, and expertise to help make this funding application a success. Our thanks also the National Lottery Heritage Fund for their continued advice and support.