Broads to benefit from landmark partnership plan

Catchment PlanA landmark plan which will see organisations, businesses and people work together to create healthier water and wetlands in and around the Broads will be launched next Thursday (June 19th).

The Broadland Rivers Catchment Plan seeks to address issues around water quality and shortage, flooding and wildlife habitat by joining up the management of land and water in an area more than ten times the size of the Broads alone.
 
The plan, produced by the Broadland Catchment Partnership (BCP), adopts a new approach that involves local communities in decision making and helps them to deliver local action to improve the water environment.

The catchment includes the area that feeds water into the rivers Bure, Waveney, Wensum and Yare and out to sea at Great Yarmouth or Lowestoft.

Neil Punchard, Broadland Catchment Partnership Officer, said: “It has a strong farming heritage, internationally important wildlife, excellent angling, inland navigation, stunning landscapes and coast, historic towns, and includes the city of Norwich.”

The River Wensum has just won the first ever England River Prize for landscape scale restoration and the partnership is aiming for similar improvements in the other river catchments and smaller feeder streams.

Will Robinson, Water Resources Manager, Essex and Suffolk Water endorsed the approach and said: “Protecting our vital water resources at source rather than investing in expensive water treatment processes results in cost savings for our customers and is better for the environment.”

The plan summarises the work that is already going on, outlines what still needs to be done, and includes realistic actions that everyone can take to improve water, wetlands and wildlife and even save time and money in doing so.

Rob Wise, Environment Adviser, NFU said: “Around 80% of the land in the catchment is used for arable agriculture so working closely with farmers, land managers and their advisers while supporting sustainable intensive agriculture is essential.”

Andrea Kelly, Senior Ecologist, Broads Authority pointed out that the Broads is affected by what happens upstream as well as by tidal surges from the North Sea.

Martin Bowes, Catchment Strategy Assistant, Anglian Water said: “Anglian Water has invested millions of pounds in removing phosphate at many of its water recycling centres throughout the catchment and is exploring more sustainable methods to continue to improve river water quality.”

Geoff Doggett, Chair of the River Waveney Trust that is hosting the launch event at their River Waveney Study Centre said: “People are connected to their local river from flushing their toilet to turning on their taps and many people love to go fishing or boating. We have over 600 members that are learning about and improving their local waterways.”

Anyone who is keen to get involved or requires more information can e-mail: admin@broadlandcatchmentpartnership.org.uk

The plan can be downloaded from: www.broadlandcatchmentpartnership.org.uk

Friday 13 June 2014