About the WCRST

The Wessex Chalk Stream and Rivers Trust (WCSRT) is a charity (Reg No:1130991) formed in 2010 by a group of organisations with an interest in protecting the fragile and globally important chalk-based ecosystems of the rivers of the Wessex region.
The UK is home to around 85% of the world’s chalk-streams and the Trust’s catchments of the Dorset Stour in the West, the Avon, the Test, the Itchen and the Meon in the East, contain many of the most iconic examples of this rare and important habitat.
Following the successful example of other Rivers Trusts like the West Country Rivers Trust and the Eden Rivers Trust, the WCSRT uses a catchment based approach to analyse the growing pressures on these watercourses resulting from agricultural, industrial and transport based pollution, along with increased abstraction thanks to higher demand for housing and industry in the area. It uses this research to encourage effective measures that reduce the impact of these pressures on the quality and quantity of water in the region’s rivers. It is our belief that this catchment wide focus on improving water quality is the best way to ensure all the many unique species of flora and fauna that inhabit these ecosystems survive and thrive. Everything from the waving green tresses of Water Crowfoot to the elegant Southern Damsel Fly, the charming, busy, Water Vole, the mysterious Brook Lamprey, the wily native Brown Trout and the muscular Atlantic salmon, will prosper if only there is an abundance of fresh clean water.
The Trust is run by a Board of Trustees and has officers with specific responsibilities many of who currently give of their time and expertise freely. As we develop and secure sufficient funds we plan to increase our team of professional full-time employees to ensure we expand and improve the delivery of the Trust’s objectives on the ground.
Our partners include:
  • Wiltshire Fishery Association
  • Avon & Stour Rivers Association
  • Test and Itchen Association
  • The National Trust
  • Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust
  • Wiltshire Wildlife Trust
  • The Rivers Trust (formerly the Association of Rivers Trusts)

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