Working at catchment scale for all freshwaters

In our work at a catchment scale, we take account of all parts of the freshwater environment. From the smallest ponds and ditches to the biggest rivers and lakes: all have a major part to play in protecting freshwater biodiversity. Small waterbodies, such as headwater streams, ponds, ditches, and flushes are particularly important because – in most landscapes – they provide habitats for the widest variety of freshwater plants and animals, and are hotspots for endangered species. Research suggests that ponds could support as many as two-thirds of all freshwater plants and animals.

We work in partnership with many other organisations to share our expertise, and help people understand how best to protect freshwater wildlife, and the benefits of protecting the whole water environment.

We are active supporters of the Catchment-based Approach (CaBA) and sit on the National Support Group for CaBA.

Protecting the best

Our catchment projects focus on first protecting the most biodiverse habitats from further degradation. We then build out from the these areas, by improving water quality in existing habitats and putting back clean water in the landscape. We also undertake work to reduce the impact of diffuse pollution that arises from rural and urban land use – such as fertiliser runoff and dirty water washing off of roads.

Many of our projects involve applying measures to try to control these problems, much of our work focuses on finding out what aspects of catchment management are most effective for freshwater biodiversity. Other organisations are also trying to find out how best to protect freshwater wildlife at a landscape scale so we keep a close eye on new ideas and approaches to help make our practical work as effective as it can be.


Catchment hosting

We host and co-host catchment partnerships across the country, working with our partners to improve water quality and make a difference for wildlife and people.

Catchment projects

Many of our projects support catchment-based work to improve water quality and boost freshwater biodiversity.