The Carrant Catchment Restoration Project (CCARP) is an open collaborative partnership project that invites everyone interested in the aims and objectives of the group to join. The project aims to enhance habitat connectivity stemming from water quality across the farm holdings, looking at improving wildlife connectivity by increasing habitat corridors, natural flood management, hedge planting and management.

The Carrant Catchment Restoration Project incorporates both the Carrant and Isbourne rivers, working along waterways to restore, enhance and improve wildlife habitats, reduce water and silt run-off, reduce soil erosion and enjoy shared learning opportunities.

Funding has been secured for 5 years from Natural England to support and guide the restoration and learning opportunities for the project area. We hope to install, restore or improve habitats such as former river meanders, river meadows, wet woodland, ponds, silt traps, orchards, native trees, grassland, grass and arable field margins and road verges.

Slowing down the rate of water run-off from fields, whether along ditches or overland, reduces the top soil loss and silt that enters the watercourse; siltingup and clouding of the brooks has a detrimental effect on wildlife. We are improving wetland habitat along the brooks by creating new backwaters for fish and eels. We are re-establishing former oxbows (or river meanders) and connections between watercourses and areas of marsh or wet woodland. We hope to build silt traps on feeder ditches and streams.

Leaving wide margins around fields and buffer strips alongside ditches protects the hedgerow and water course from pesticides and fertilisers, improves soil organic matter, reduces farmer input costs and provides cover for wildlife and feeding and breeding sites for pollinators and other insects.

Under various schemes we have been restoring old traditional orchards by re-planting, conserving the trees and grazing the grasslands that support this diverse habitat. We have established two community orchards which are managed by local communities and there are other orchard restoration opportunities in the area. Our hope is that these and other wildlife habitats across the catchments can be linked to make wildlife corridors.

The habitat created by old decaying trees is vitally important for wildlife so new and restored pollarding are also needed to provide key habitat sites for the future. We also plan to plant more native trees such as Whitebeam on the hills, disease-resistant Elms on the lower ground and Black Poplar along the valley bottoms.

The project includes the catchment areas for Carrant Brook, Squitter Brook, Isbourne and Washbourne Brook. We are looking for more local partners such as farmers, landowners, beekeeping, gardening and other environmental community groups to join.

 

Download the Carrant Catchment Restoration Project Leaflet here.

Email [email protected] for more information.