Achieving more for nature

Lincolnshire landscapes

Take a virtual tour of Greater Lincolnshire and discover the natural and geological features of your area, as well as local conservation projects taking place near you.

Lincolnshire Chalk Streams

Chalk streams are internationally rare habitats unique to the south and east of England and Normandy in France. Unfortunately, this habitat has been neglected by historical land use practices. The Lincolnshire Chalk Streams Project has helped plan and find funding to deliver on-the-ground habitat improvements to many of the chalk streams throughout the area.

Background

Several organisations came together in 2003 to form the partnership: Lincolnshire Wolds Countryside Service (host), Environment Agency, Anglian Water, Natural England, Wild Trout Trust and the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust. The partnership aims to:

  • Make sustainable improvements to chalk streams, focused around the Lincolnshire Wolds
  • Raise awareness of chalk streams and their importance
  • Improve our knowledge of Greater Lincolnshire's chalk stream habitats
  • Restore and improve Greater Lincolnshire's chalk streams for the benefit of wildlife and the community

A Project Officer came into post in 2006 to deliver the aims of the partnership. The project has gone from strength to strength and in 2012 was recognised for its work by winning the prestigious Bowland Award. The award is presented to projects for achieving ‘the best project, best practice or outstanding contribution to the wellbeing of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty', and promotes landscape scale conservation through partnership working.

Actions

The Project Officer has undertaken a number of site visits offering long-term chalk stream management advice to landowners, farmers and communities.  To date 28 sites have undergone some form of management to improve the quality and connectivity of habitats. During 2012-13 three more habitat improvement projects have been delivered. One of these projects is at Calceby Beck, South Thoresby:

The flow was being affected by too much fallen tree debris across the channel, slowing the flow and resulting in build-up of silt on the bed. Farmers on both sides of the bank were concerned as a long stretch of bank was being poached by livestock. The enhancements will reduce the amount of sediment entering the stream and will result in an increase of flow which will scour the bed, move the silt along the system and expose those hidden gravels. This will provide more habitat for aquatic invertebrates and spawning sites for species like brown trout. In addition the landowners will have greater control over the grazing intensity on the land and give the animals access to water from the stream no matter which section they are in.

2013-14 planned projects include:

  • Donington Mill, Donington-on-Bain: re-naturalising a section of the River Bain to improve fish and eel passage
  • Laceby Beck Phase 3: where the aim is to improve fish passage over a weir whilst repairing eroded banks. An add on to Laceby Beck Phase 2, controlling Himalayan balsam with funding from the Environment Agency
  • Implementation of a River Monitors project: A Trans National Cooperation Project with the Lindsey Action Zone (LAZ) linking up with a LEADER group in Normandy situated on chalk streams