Restoring the Test and Itchen - report on progress

The rivers Test and Itchen in Hampshire are iconic chalk streams, famous throughout the trout fishing world, and supporting a very diverse range of plants and wildlife. Both rivers, and many of their tributaries are designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), and the Itchen is recognised as a Special Area of Conservation, but ecologically they are currently in unfavourable condition’.

The Test and Itchen River Restoration Strategy is a collaborative project between the Environment Agency, Natural England, local fisheries and riparian owners. The aim is to help restore the rivers to favourable’ condition. 
Click here for a copy of the Strategy.

Chalk-streams have been intensively managed by man since Roman times, so there is little opportunity to restore the rivers to a truly natural’ state, but dredging, over widening, straightening, and multiple weirs and structures as well as land-use and management changes have taken their toll on the habitat available and on biodiversity. The aim of the strategy is to focus on the physical form (morphology) of the rivers and to introduce more natural function to the rivers and create better habitat for wildlife.

Click here for a copy of the latest newsletter on the work carried out in 2014.
More projects are planned for 2015 and the Wild Trout Trust will continue to support the project.