Conserve and enhance the biodiversity and landscape value of the Letcombe Brook corridor.
We seek to protect the brook through the Planning Process, responding to all planning applications that have the potential to adversely impact it; carry out habitat assessments and habitat enhancement work; remove litter and debris on a regular basis; identify and seek to remove any blockages to fish movement; monitor and seek to improve water quality, including monitoring incidents of pollution. Small scale habitat enhancement work is carried out during volunteer work parties. We are seeking opportunities to raise funds and develop projects for larger scale river restoration work.
Seek opportunities to reduce flood risk, implementing natural flood management measures where appropriate.
Opportunities for Natural Flood Management are limited on the Letcombe Brook Catchment but we are working with partner agencies to try and identify opportunities. We are also working to identify and seeking to remove any structures impounding the flow of water and causing silt to build up; responding to reports of blockages; liaising with landowners in control of sluices; looking for stretches along the brook where it might be possible to reconnect the brook with its floodplain.
Improve Land Management
Promote environmentally responsible land management practices among land owners and land managers
Most of the brook is privately owned, flowing through either farmland or residential properties. There are more than 140 different riparian owners! We work in partnership with them to provide advice and promote best practice, for example encouraging them to keep ‘natural’ banks next to the brook, manage overhanging trees and vegetation and avoid the use of harmful chemicals. We advise larger land owners on good agricultural practices that reduce the risk of bankside erosion and diffuse pollution.
Increase awareness of countryside and environmental issues through education and interpretation
We have developed an education package we are keen to deliver to all Primary Schools in the catchment area. This exciting package is delivered by the Project Officer and includes river dipping and river science content relevant to the national curriculum. The Project Officer is keen to develop links with other community groups, youth organisations and higher education establishments. More informal learning will be provided at guided walks and community events as well as by interpretation panels installed along the brook at key community green spaces.
Involve all sectors of the community in caring for and appreciating the Letcombe Brook
There is a growing realisation that the potential of the natural environment to improve people’s quality of life has still to be fully appreciated. We are passionate about encouraging the local community to enjoy and appreciate the Letcombe Brook. We aim to achieve this by running regular volunteer conservation groups, working with local interest groups and supporting local flood groups. We have also designed a series of Letcombe Brook Discovery Trail walk leaflets to encourage people to explore the brook.