Woodlands and Wetlands

Woodlands and Wetlands – a project facilitating opportunities to expand the outstanding habitats and species of the New Forest’s freshwater landscape.

Woodlands and Wetlands is one of several projects to put into practice Freshwater Habitats Trust’s new approach to the protection of freshwater biodiversity – The Freshwater Network, which aims to create a national network of healthy, unpolluted and interconnected freshwater landscapes made up of Important freshwater Areas (IFSs), Historic floodplains, and Wetland Opportunity Areas.

The approach focuses on the small freshwater and wetland habitats that make up most of the water environment,  that are critical for maintaining landscapes rich in freshwater biodiversity and are the easiest to manage, create and restore successfully.

Expanding out from the core

The project seeks to address improvements to both the running and standing water network, reducing diffuse pollution and sedimentation, increasing water storage capacity and the restoration and creation of clean water habitats around the edge, which build out from and link the highly biodiverse New Forest SAC/SSSI and adjacent coastal SPAs and SACs and SSSI chalk streams.

Reducing pressures

Through land use change, habitat creation and management, and natural flood management interventions (where possible), nutrient and sediment run off from landholdings will be reduced, decreasing loading into close proximity watercourses and further downstream.

Outcomes will contribute to the expansion of specialist priority clean water dependant species, now lost from almost every other landscape across lowland England.

Increasing awareness

The activities planned for landowner engagement will increase awareness of water quality and its importance to the New Forest’s inland and coastal habitats. The project will help to increase a better understanding of land use impacts and how changes to land management can increase the natural capital value and ecosystem services the landholding has to offer including benefits to the wider landscape particularly downstream.

Green and Blue Horizons: from City to Forest

This project is part of the New Forest National Park Authorities ‘Green and Blue Horizons: from City to Forest‘ scheme.  Funded from the Government’s £40 million second round of the Green Recovery Challenge Fund, a multi-million pound boost for green jobs and nature recovery across the country, this scheme will kick start action to confront the twin climate and nature emergencies’ with programmes to restore nature, begin a path towards net zero with nature, and help new and diverse audiences connect with the New Forest landscape.