Applications for Rivers and Wetlands Community Days funding to close in one week
Monday 6th March 2023 16:00
Kempton Nature Reserve
- Thames Water funds £100,000 towards The Rivers and Wetlands Community Days
- Last year 12 projects benefitted from the fund, which helps improve local rivers and wetlands in London and the Thames Valley.
- Since 2021 Thames Water has created 6.3 hectares of wetlands on land it manages.
Only one week is left for people to apply for the 2023 Rivers and Wetlands Community Days programme.
The programme provides funding to local people to improve their rivers and wetlands, from smaller volunteer days clearing riverbanks to larger-scale projects.
Thames Water has funded the community programme since 2020, providing £100,000 each year. In 2022, among the 12 projects that were supported, the funding has helped a wildlife trust restore the River Ray in Wiltshire, provided water quality monitoring equipment to a Cotswolds community group and improved habits and community access to the River Lambourn, a chalk stream in Berkshire.
Applications are welcome from local, non-Governmental community groups working in the Thames Water catchment, including rivers and wildlife trusts, flood groups, countryside/catchment partnerships, angling clubs and conservation volunteers. Large-scale projects can receive support from £15,000-£20,000 and small-scale projects up to £5,000 in funding.
The chosen initiatives will be run by a group made up of the Angling Trust, Environment Agency, Institute of Fisheries Management and Wild Trout Trust.
Applications will close on 13 March 2023, and applicants can find out more about the scheme and how to apply on the Wild Trout Trust website.
Claudia Innes, Community Manager at Thames Water said: “We’re delighted to be supporting local communities in protecting and enhancing the wonderful rivers and wildlife on their doorsteps. This funding programme can really make a difference to the wetland and river habitats in your area and as part of our wider commitments to improve river health we’ll continue to work with people who know and love their local rivers the most, for the benefit of future generations.”
Over the last two years Thames Water’s biodiversity team has created new wetlands at the company’s sites in Aylesbury, Cirencester, Bicester and Blewbury, totalling 6.3 hectares. A further wetland is due to be created in Godalming, next month.
From 2020 to 2025, Thames Water has committed to enhance biodiversity by 5% at 253 of its sites which have biodiversity interest. The area of land to be improved by the programme is around 4,000 hectares – two-and-a-half times the size of Heathrow Airport.
This will be achieved by improving the condition of existing habitats through changes in grassland management, and with the creation of new habitats such as wetlands, woodlands and hedgerows.
Thames Water manages 12 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) which are legally protected wildlife areas, and with 47 of the UK’s 224 chalk streams in its region, the company is committed to protecting these rare and biodiverse sites.