Will gleaming rivers rise from the murk of WFD?


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Tim Longstaff of the Wandle Trust discusses WFD delivery at the Instutute of Fisheries Management

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Will gleaming rivers rise from the murk of WFD?

  1. 1. Will gleaming rivers rise from the murk of WFD? Tim Longstaff The Wandle Trust Presentation for IFM 7th March 2013
  2. 2. Summary• Rivers Trusts• The Wandle Trust• WFD - opportunities and challenges – Catchment Plans – GEP – The future – what happens next?• WFD Projects – Current and completed
  3. 3. Rivers Trusts Independent organisations working to improve the health of rivers for environmental & public benefitIdeal partners for WFD deliveryOriginate from the community • Formed when local people become concerned for their river • Charitable Trusts • Local knowledge and expertiseNational coverage • Over 40 trusts • National body; The Rivers Trust Support existing RTs, encourage new RTs, secure funding, R+D © Crown copyright and database rights 2013
  4. 4. Rivers Trusts• Seen as ‘honest brokers’ between EA and community groups/other stakeholders• Good at public and community interactionRivers Trusts get things done • ‘Wet feet’ – practical catchment, river & fishery improvement works • Work is science/evidence based • Practise ecosystems approach on catchment scale • Deliver with community engagement where possible • Ensure volunteers contributions are effective
  5. 5. The Wandle Trust An environmental charity dedicated to maintaining & restoring the health of the River Wandle and its catchment•Formed mid-1990s •concerned residents & anglers•Established a Charity in 2000•Wandle Piscators founded in 2004•2007/8 a new era: • A Rivers Trust • Pollution & compensation -Bella • Began more restoration work
  6. 6. The Wandle Trust: aims & objectivesThe River Wandle will achieve Good Ecological Potential &the Wandle catchment will set international standards forurban community-driven sustainability and environmentalexcellence in river rehabilitation and restoration. 1. Engagement 3. Environmental improvement 2. Education 4. Partnership & facilitation• Partnership working with the community at the heart: ownership & stewardship – better outcome with local volunteers• Science/evidence based action
  7. 7. Community engagement activities...River Cleanups © S. Evans 2009 © S. Evans 2009 © D. Soar 2009
  8. 8. Community engagement activities... D.SoarTrout in the Classroom D.Soar
  9. 9. INNS Habitatenhancements
  10. 10. River Restoration
  11. 11. WFD and the growth of the Wandle Trust• Defra RIF –Fish passage (eels, salmonids) • Recruit Catchment Project Officer - Me!• Defra CRF – WFD based • Recruit Catchment Project Officer – Toby Hull • Expanding work to the Hogsmill, Beverley Brook, Mole• South East Rivers Trust (SERT) • EA And RT keen to fill gap in SE England • Spreading the Wandle model of scientific catchment management and community engagement • Work in partnership and faciltate river improvements
  12. 12. A journey through the mists of WFD ‘’If you understand WFD then you haven’t explained WFD’’
  13. 13. A brief recent history of WFD ……….from a Rivers Trust perspective• RBMP 2009 – No local stakeholders and community input (or largely ignored) – Lack of real data – Interpolation of data between catchments – Unworkable• UK Government re-worked things and gave £110M for river improvement.
  14. 14. Opportunity knocks!For WFD delivery……..• £28M for Catchment Restoration Fund (CRF)For the Wandle Trust………• £1M from various sources (mostly CRF) to deliver WFD
  15. 15. Catchment Plans• Key to delivering River Restoration• Getting under the bonnet of the river! – What is working? – What is broken? – What can we do?
  16. 16. Catchment Plans• Defra recognised this too – Way of getting the local knowledge input into the RBMP – Set up 25 Pilots and further 55 unofficial pilot schemes• What is the best way of catchment planning? – No guidance given – Review process BUT…….. • CPs to be produced after CRF fund allocated • 80 very different plans • Cant evaluate success until deliver plans
  17. 17. Challenges emerge..... EA infoCatchment Plans gathering toto be with DEFRA determine why rivers failing 22 Dec 2012 Result?………. • ‘Incomplete’ plans - Work in progress • Defra reviewing CPs that were unable to use all the data.
  18. 18. The Wandle Catchment PlanTwo pronged approach1. Public engagement – Very important on Urban Rivers2. Technical advisory group – EA, water companies, Universities, Wildlife trusts etc...
  19. 19. The Wandle approach What are we What is wrong How can we aiming for ? Currently? improve things?Technical strand Turn evidence GEP Data analysis into plansAnalysis and A vision for all Evidence •Balancing needs reporting -Linking WFD based •Produce a plan! to reality! assessmentCommunity strand What want Wandle Current problems? What could to look like? we do?
  20. 20. Challenges… Starting point: Consultation fatigue‘Here comes another consultation to produce another plan to sit on another shelf!’
  21. 21. Opportunities… New approach - Ketso kit‘’The most fun you will ever have with WFD!’’
  22. 22. Outcomes..– 27 community workshops– 500 people– 99 questionairres– 56 different organisations
  23. 23. Challenges with GEP GEP defined as attaining ‘near reference’ conditions Don’t exist in urban chalkstreams!Number of scenarios for GEP exist – which is ‘correct’? ? Ecosystem function ? ? ?
  24. 24. Challenges with GEPGEP definition varies • different points of view • different aspirations • money available • time available etc… Can be contentious!Solution• Use an Ecosystem Services approach• Aim for multiple benefits not skewed to one service
  25. 25. Realism and Reaches• GEP varies dramatically between reaches• Urban river Survey (URS): define functional and connecting reaches (in development) Functional Reach Functional Reach Connecting reach
  26. 26. Ecosystems Approach: Multiple BenefitsE.g. Macrophytes, trees and wider river habitatimprovements.Not just habitat and biodiversity benefits………..• Regulating services – Water purification – Water regulation – Hazard regualtion• Provisioning services – Provision of freshwater• Cultural services – Aesthetics – Recreational services – Educational opportunities
  27. 27. Overlap with other strategies: Multiple Benefits •Biodiversity •e.g. Biodiversity 2020, Mayors London Plan •Water Resource Management •EA Catchment Abstraction Management Strategy •Local authoritues surface water management plans •Water companies water resource management plans •Health and Wellbeing •Mayor’s london plan •LB wandsworths Health and wellbeing board •Planning and green Infrastructure •All london green grid •Local authorities local plans •Economic Growth •Mayor’s London Plan
  28. 28. “Someone who buys a drill, doesn’t want a drill, they want a hole” A plan needs to be a tool to deliver actionPeople don’t care about WFD or GEP but meaningful benefits.
  29. 29. So now what?Staked our reputation on delivering the CP ‘We will deliver, we have government support and backing’ Lose good will of the community if dont deliver meaningful benefits
  30. 30. An Uncertain Future?• Will Defra support the delivery of CPs? • Mixed messages • no real concrete information• Defra working things out – could take time But what happens in the waiting period?
  31. 31. An Uncertain Future?No further funding from Defra for WFD (?) ‘Enough money out there currently’However…. • Lots of different pots • Specific focus e.g. community, heritage etc.. • Not multiple benefits • Some funds require lot of work e.g. HLF • Many can’t be used for WFD targets
  32. 32. An Uncertain Future?Will CPs be incorporated into RBMPs?• CPs have no real legal status on their own (People only do what they have to!) • Aspirational; if incorporated could result in requirement to fund? • Cherry pick outcomes form the plans?
  33. 33. A request to Defra and the EA!• Make a decision quickly• Follow through with funding• 3rd Sector groups can’t wait around – Lose momentum – Lose trust of community and local stakeholders – Turn attention elsewhere to survive – Financial difficultiesWandle Trust has funding for WFD delivery till 2015 butmany other 3rd sector groups not in this situation
  34. 34. WFD Delivery by the Wandle Trust• Sample of current ongoing WFD projects – Scale, type, variety• Sample of completed projects
  35. 35. Current Wandle Trust WFD Projects1. Silt/run off reduction (Carshalton waterbody)2. Water quality – SUDS (LBS)3. Hydraulic modelling – identify new projects, Increase WT capacity (modelling expertise)4. Fish passage and habitat enhancements (Wandle, Carshalton waterbody, Hogsmill, Beverley Brook, Cray)5. Self sustaining wild trout populations (South London chalk streams)6. Pollution monitoring (Wandle)
  36. 36. Wandle Projects•Wandle - WFD fail for fish•Two waterbodies •Carshalton waterbody •Main Wandle (Croydon to Thames)
  37. 37. Hydraulic modelling Carshalton feasibility study - major weir removal Waterbody and designs (Connectivity)Hydrodynamic silt traps(Water quality, silt) Gravel introduction (habitat, geomorphology) Channel narrowing Marginal wetlands (habitat, Hydromorphology)
  38. 38. Phased plan of works over last 4 years • Fish passage and habitat
  39. 39. Where are we now?
  40. 40. Where are we now?
  41. 41. Real benefits!
  42. 42. Hackbridge: big opportunities in an urban area• 3 weirs• 1.6Km of river• Heavily populated• Flood risk area
  43. 43. The weirs
  44. 44. Opportunities 3 weirs removedWetland creation River narrowing Gravel introduction Backwater
  45. 45. Catchment Scale Opportunities•Hogsmill River•11Km long•WFD fail (fish andinverts)•Catchment scalerestoration opportunity!•15 obstructions along11km•All will be addressed
  46. 46. ..& challenges Gauging weirAncient monument150m concrete channel , 3 weirs Concrete channel under A3
  47. 47. Footpath-Weir and Bridge footings revetments(100m apart) Solution: Rock ramp c.f. Arborfield
  48. 48. Pollution Monitoring• EA receive ~2 – 3 minor (Category 3) incidents on the Wandle each week• EA cannot always attend quickly enough to catch the pollution• Collaborative Pilot programme with EA• Pollution Assessment Volunteers
  49. 49. Procedure Summary Contact VolunteerEnvironment Agency Wandle Trust (PAV) (SPOC) Response Volunteer assesses pollution
  50. 50. Benefits• Faster response• Efficient and effective EA response• Identify trends and problem sites• Saves taxpayers moneyCitizen Science• WT Support the volunteers • EA get accurate information • Empowers the local community • Increases skills of local community • Effective volunteer response
  51. 51. Conclusions• Rivers Trusts – Ideally set up to deliver WFD• Wandle Trust – Effective delivery built on collaborative, community focused, science driven principles.• WFD – Not perfect – Many challenges but also opportunities – Uncertainties ahead Message for Defra and EA: Act quickly, keep the momentum going and support delivery
  52. 52. Thankyou!