River Mease Catchment Project
The River Mease is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) for its valuable community of fish species and aquatic plants. The site is currently failing to achieve good ecological status primarily due to poor water quality because of high phosphate levels, which lead to damaging environments for plants and animals and can harm the very species for which the site is under protection. In addition, historic modifications to the river including over-deepening, land-use change and weir construction, has led to a reduction in the diversity of river habitats and processes, which are important for the designated species as well as for the river’s resilience and ability to cope with changes to the environment, such as higher nutrient levels and climate change.
Trent Rivers Trust is currently delivering two contracts of work in order to improve water quality and river habitat throughout the Mease catchment. The Environment Agency has provided funding to deliver river restoration schemes to improve river habitat and function on the River Mease and its tributaries. In addition, the developer contribution scheme, a scheme into which developers pay a direct contribution to restoring and maintaining water quality in the Mease to offset the additional phosphate contributions of development in the catchment, funds the delivery of phosphate reduction activities and schemes across the catchment.
The two funding streams complement and enhance each other, allowing Trent Rivers Trust to take a catchment wide approach. The developer contribution scheme allows us to reduce source pollution and intercept sediment pollution on its way to the river, while the Environment Agency river restoration scheme allows us to undertake schemes that enhance the river environment itself.
The first step in this project has been to appoint a Project Manager to oversee the delivery of both funding streams. There are many projects in varying stages of development currently being worked up so sign up to our newsletter and keep an eye on the website for scheme updates.