Tichborne Restoration Project Site Visit

Yesterday Jackie and I travelled down to Hampshire for a site visit at the Tichborne Restoration Project, near Alresford, near Winchester. The group of 20 delegates gathered at the Tichborne Arms in the small village of Tichborne, sheltering from the heavy rain by crowding under trees! The rain did not stop throughout the whole visit, and the advised wellies proved essential.

Adam Cave (Environment Agency) and Will Stollery (Aquascience) led the visit around the Cheriton Stream, tributary of the River Itchen. The restoration technique which has been implemented here is realignment of the natural course of the river through the meadow floodplain. This was carried out to help restore natural chalk stream characteristics, improve biodiversity, and reconnect the river to the floodplain. This site is a SSSI/SAC and restoration was necessary to improve the condition of the site to a favourable status. Work was carried out in 2017, and post-project monitoring including site surveys and Fixed Point Photography have highlighted the success of this project.

The group walked the 800m stream, stopping at points of interest to discuss implemented techniques, ideas, monitoring and performance of the project. Adam and Will were happy to answer any of the groups’ queries, despite the ever worsening weather! The wind increased and the rain persisted, but that wasn’t going to stop this eager group of members who were enthusiastically noting down project information, taking photos and talking amongst the group.

The visit was very interesting, and it was great to see what potential restoration can be carried out with cooperation from landowners, and space to give the river room to naturally reinstate itself. The initial prospect for this site was desilting a lake on the estate, however with further investigation into options, a much larger restoration project was able to be completed, enhancing habitat, amenity value, biodiversity, and naturalising hydrological processes.

Thank you to Adam and Will for facilitating this visit, and to our members who braved the weather to come out and see this project.


Aquascience case study



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