Community Catchment Groups

Community Catchment Groups

© Steve Page

From the start, the Watercress and Winterbournes Landscape Partnership Scheme has been community-focused and community-led. The people who live and work along its seven chalk streams are integral to its aims and activities.

When the scheme was being developed, many residents were already passionate about tackling the pressures on their streams. Our work presented a way to support these people, and unite them in pursuit of large-scale change.

To better understand the unique qualities of each stream, and give residents a greater say in their future, we formed seven Community Catchment Groups. Through these groups, the partners were able to join forces with local people in creating Watercress and Winterbournes.

Having been crucial to the scheme's development, our Community Catchment Groups now play a central role in its delivery. Many members also choose to volunteer with us as a Chalk Stream Champion, but you don't have to do so in order to join your local group.

Our seven groups

Each of our Community Catchment Groups is focused on a different chalk stream catchment. We recommend joining the group which covers your local area, but you may want to join another if you have strong ties to that catchment:

  • Bourne Rivulet Community Catchment Group
  • Candover Brook Community Catchment Group
  • Cheriton Stream Community Catchment Group
  • Pillhill Brook Community Catchment Group
  • River Arle Community Catchment Group
  • Upper Anton Community Catchment Group
  • Upper Test Community Catchment Group

 

Join a group

About the scheme

Shaping conservation

 

A key role of our groups is delivering their Community Catchment Plans. These plans have been created to identify the unique priorities of each area, find ways to address them, and provide a framework for how to make that happen.

Many of the ideas to come out of this process have been incorporated into Watercress and Winterbournes, while others are still evolving. The plans take a forward-thinking approach and are updated as new opportunities arise.

Empowering communities

 

We're always thinking of how we can equip our Community Catchment Groups for the future. When Watercress and Winterbournes is completed, we want to ensure that its local communities are ready and able to expand on its achievements.

With this in mind, we offer our groups training in key skills, opportunities for learning, and guidance on group management. Our aim is to give each one the skills, knowledge, and confidence to protect their chalk streams for many years to come.

Meeting people

 

Our groups meet once a month at a location within their catchment. While Covid-19 restrictions are in place, however, our groups are meeting every six weeks over Zoom. We hope to resume in-person meetings once it's safe to do so.

Each meeting lasts about 1.5 hours. We update on the scheme's progress and gather feedback, then the groups work on their Community Catchment Plans. The meetings sometimes also involve a practical task like picking up litter.