Working Together to Improve Our Environment
The Town and Manor of Hungerford and partners are delighted to have been awarded more than £400,000 from the Green Recovery Challenge Fund for the Sparkling Streams project, which will enable us to deliver cleaner rivers, more wildlife and connect people in the Kennet Catchment.
Here's a short film about the project, created by the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) with the help of the project partners.
THE SPARKLING STREAMS PROJECT
Chalk streams are globally rare and the project is helping to reverse centuries of mismanagement.
Together with our partners, we will be helping to restore the degraded tributaries of the River Kennet Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and significantly enhance the river at Eddington Mill in Hungerford.
HOW WE PLAN TO MAKE THE CHANGES
Through the following actions we aim to reverse hundreds of years of river mis-management:
Nature Conservation and restoration – the project will significantly contribute to chalk river channel habitat restoration and enhancement; we will remove impediments to fish migration and also create new wetland and hedge and woodland habitats.
Nature-Based Solutions - sediment ponds, leaky dams and new wetland will be created thus cleaning water feeding into Wilton Water and the rivers. Strategic planting of hedges and trees will slow overland flows, reducing soil erosion, improving water quality, mitigating climate change.
Connecting People – we will be working with volunteers. The Shalbourne school community will construct a rain garden to reduce pressure on the sewerage system. Three schools will be taking part in River School activities.
Two new posts have been created, a Project Manager role (already recruited) to oversee delivery of the works and a Conservation Officer post which is a trainee role for early career development.
The Town and Manor of Hungerford is proud to be partnering with The North Wessex Downs AONB, The Rivers Trust for the Kennet Catchment (ARK) and the Southern Streams Farmer Group, which all had proposals and projects at various stages of preparation and development focusing on improving the water quality and chalk river habitats of the Shalbourne, Dun and the River Kennet Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
HOW IT CAME TOGETHER
The Sparkling Streams Project came together in Autumn 2020, following a call from DEFRA and the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) for projects to be submitted to the Green Recovery Challenge Fund.
The £40 million Green Recovery Challenge Fund, part of the government’s wider green economic recovery, jobs and skills package, brought forward funding for environmental charities and their partners to start work on projects across England to restore nature and tackle climate change.
Projects funded needed to meet at least one of the following themes of the Green Recovery Challenge Fund:
nature conservation and restoration
nature-based solutions, particularly focused on climate change mitigation and adaptation such as through tree planting and restoring peatland
connecting people with nature
They also needed to create or retain jobs, creating opportunities and benefits for all ages, including young people.
The fund was open to environmental charities and partnerships that included at least one environmental charity.
GREEN RECOVERY CHALLENGE FUND
This project is funded by the government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund. The fund is being delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England and the Environment Agency.