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River Eye Restoration

Project Type

Project Catchment



SSSI river restoration work in rural Leicestershire

The River Eye meanders through Leicestershire’s rolling farmland, and perhaps unknown to some, a large stretch (7.5km) of the Eye is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The River Eye is an excellent example of a semi-natural lowland river, which is a rare habitat in the UK and supports diverse flora and fauna. While this is good news for the region, the Eye is under pressure. It is currently failing to meet ‘good biological’ status mainly due to agricultural pollution and sewage discharge. As the river weaves through agricultural land, run-off overloads the river with sediment and nutrients, phosphate, in particular, driving poor ecological status and having detrimental impacts on aquatic plant communities and other inhabitants. This project used a two-pronged approach of physical interventions to enhance the resilience of the Eye SSSI, alongside a preventative approach to reduce soil erosion and nutrient inputs from agriculture through education and advice.