The Rivers and Wetlands Habitat Group is responsible for initiating and coordinating actions to achieve targets relating to the Chalk streams and blow wells, Fens, Ponds, lakes and reservoir, Reedbeds and bittern, Rivers, canals and drains and Springs and flushes Habitat Action Plans
The purpose of the Rivers and Wetlands Habitat Group is to provide a forum for those with particular interest/expertise in this suite of Habitat and Species Action Plans (HAPs and SAPs) in the Lincolnshire BAP. Membership is open to any interested organisation on the condition that they sign up to the terms of reference.
Of all the habitats in Greater Lincolnshire the rivers and wetlands have seen some of the most dramatic changes over the last few centuries. The great Fens that extended throughout several eastern counties and dominated the landscape of south-east Lincolnshire have been drained and converted to farmland, leaving just a small fragment of what was once one of Britain’s richest wildlife habitats. Many of the specialist animals and plants associated with the Fens are now considered rare and vulnerable. However, the extensive drains and dykes that have replaced wild fen are also of value for biodiversity; supporting water voles and otters, but also providing integral habitat connections.
Rivers, canals and drains provide important linear habitats in Greater Lincolnshire. The Witham, the Welland and the lower reaches of the Trent are all important for biodiversity. Canals have become significant wetland habitats in their own right, and refuges for aquatic plants such as grass wrack pondweed which is found in parts of the Grantham Canal. Chalk streams are also a significant natural resource, with good numbers of both large and small chalk streams occurring in the Lincolnshire Wolds. Greater Lincolnshire is now a national stronghold for the water vole – a species that has declined rapidly throughout the UK. The Upper Witham supports a nationally important population of white-clawed crayfish and the otter can now be found in all river catchments in the area.
Vision for Greater Lincolnshire's rivers and wetlands: