But it’s not all good news. Like all rivers the Avon and its streams and tributaries are under increasing pressure. Water abstraction, intensive agriculture, sewage and other effluents, invasive species and sometimes just neglect and ignorance have all taken their toll.
The Hampshire Avon Catchment Partnership is working to bring a wide range of partners together across the catchment to try to achieve the vision of healthy water bodies within the Hampshire Avon catchment which are valued and nurtured by residents, businesses and the wider community. A lot of work, often as a response to the EU Water Framework Directive, is already being done to try to improve water quality and wildlife habitats in and around the river. A Catchment Management Plan is in the process of being created by the partnership and will involve a number of workshops asking local people what they feel are the problems affecting rivers and streams in the catchments and how to solve these issues. The Plan sets out what some of the issues are, what is already happening and what more could be done. This is just the start of a process to involve individuals, communities, organisations, companies, farmers and landowners in working together to improve our rivers.
Through collaborative working our aim is to ensure that the Hampshire Avon exhibits:
• Naturally functioning flows,
• High water quality,
• Sustainable and abundant wildlife
• Fully functioning ecosystems linking rivers with their valleys; and
• Resilience to climate change and future socio-economic pressures.
If you are interested in getting involved or would like to find out more, please do not hesitate to contact the Catchment Officer, Jacob Dew, at firstname.lastname@example.org. or go to www.hampshireavoncatchmentpartnership.org.uk