Past projects

BAP Partners Programme: past projects

2015 - 2020

We supported four major projects between April 2015 and March 2020, all of which seek to address issues around:

  • the catchment based approach
  • payments for ecosystems services
  • science and research
Project and partner Aim 
Dorset Wild Rivers - Dorset Wiltshire Trust To take a catchment wide approach to restoring and recreating wildlife habitat along Dorset's rivers - this will also improve water quality, flood storage and  community involvement in water issues
Wessex Chalk Stream project - Wiltshire Wildlife Trust To help improve the iconic River Avon chalk streams in Wiltshire and safeguard their rare biodiversity.
South Wiltshire Farmland Conservation - Cranborne Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty To work with land managers in Wiltshire and Dorset to create bigger and better habitats on agricultural land, reduce pollution going into rivers and enhance wildlife populations including declining arable bird species.
North Somerset Levels and Moors Grazing Marsh - Avon Wildlife Trust To restore and manage grazing marshes on the North Somerset Levels and Moors to benefit aquatic plants and invertebrate; habitats for otters, water voles and bats; and flood alleviation.

Small grants scheme

For the first time, our Partners Programme offered individual small grants of between £2,500 and £5,000 for standalone projects applied for and awarded every six months. These grants were designed to fund short term, smaller scale practical projects which address catchment, ecosystems and science and research issues. Projects funded included:

Date Projects funded 
Spring 2015 Rewe Mead Nature Reserve improvement project - Somerset Wildlife Trust
Sherston River improvement project (Shrimp) - Bristol Avon Rivers Trust
Autumn 2015 Bring back the Buttercup – South Gloucestershire Biodiversity Action Group
Magnificent Marden – Bristol Avon Rivers Trust
Spring 2016 Dorset Extended Riverfly Monitoring Initiative – Dorset Extended Riverfly Monitoring Group
Midford Brook Habitat Enhancement project – Bristol Avon Rivers Trust
Autumn 2016 Riparian Habitat Enhancement Project (tackling Himalayan Balsam) – Bristol Zoological Society/Avon Invasive Weeds Forum
Spring 2017 River Nadder Invasive Non Native Species Control Project – Wiltshire Wildlife Trust
Autumn 2017 Stour Catchment Stepping Stones Project – Dorset Wildlife Trust
Spring 2018  Holt Heath Monitoring Project - Wessex Chalk Streams & Rivers Trust and Dorset Wild Rivers Project
Blackwater and Brown hairstreaks project - Somerset Wildlife Trust
Autumn 2018  Hedgerow Project - Great Bustard Group 
Spring 2019  Devils Brook Multi Benefit Project - FWAG SW and Dorset Wild Rivers
 Autumn 2019 Curfew Call Project - Wiltshire & Swindon Biological Records Centre
Gordano Bats Project - Avon Wildlife Trust 

2010 - 2015

We funded seven projects which contributed to our overall aim of conserving and enhancing species and habitats.

The projects had to have specific benefits for biodiversity aligned with our core business activities, build active and successful partnerships to benefit biodiversity across the region or undertake detailed scientific research, training or monitoring to enhance our understanding of biodiversity.

Our partners programme has supported projects across the region
Project supported  
Dorset Biodiversity Partnership Dorset Wild Rivers
This project aimed to deliver river and wetland habitat restoration in the Dorset Frome Valley, Piddle Valley and Stour Tributaries. It successfully delivered more than 14km of chalk stream restoration, 29.5ha of wet woodland planting, 12 new scrapes or ponds, 4,000 volunteer hours pulling Himalayan balsam and 58 farm visits which resulted in 32ha of improved farm habitat through Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) schemes during the period.
South Wiltshire Farmland Bird project
This project was led by Cranborne Chase & West Wiltshire Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and was part of the South West Farmland Bird Initiative to reverse the decline in farmland bird populations across South Wiltshire by working with farmers to tackle diffuse pollution and water quality issues. The project resulted in 147 farms receiving one to one advice, advised on 55 HLS agreements, created more than 1,000ha of farmland bird habitat and produced several mitigation schemes (such as hedge planting, installation of nest boxes and sowing of bird and inverterbrate seed mixes) working in partnership with our Grid project to benefit wildlife.
Somerset Biodiversity Partnership Biodiversity Action in Somerset
This project aimed to promote and facilitate implementation of the Somerset Biodiversity Strategy and Local BAP. It helped deliver action on Somerset priority habitats and species including traditional orchards; ditches and ponds; water and wetland; woodland; and otter, bats, lapwing and long eared owl. The project has also supported the delivery of a scheme to manage Himalayan Balsam in the Upper Tone catchment; a citizen science initiative for monitoring invertebrate communities in the Somerset Level and moors; the development of habitat suitability indices for bats; and a community hedgerow survey around Bicknoller.
Wessex Chalk Streams Partnership Wessex Chalk Streams Project
This project aimed to involve river restoration and work with other stakeholders to reconcile the links between the public, water usage and rivers along the Hampshire Avon. The achievements in the period included the delivery of 11 river restoration projects on the Upper Avon and Wylye which resulted in 7.5km of chalk stream and floodplain restoration. This was coupled with more than 75 advisory visits to landowners and fishing clubs and the establishment of the Wiltshire riverfly monitoring.
Ecological Research and Training The project facilitated joint biodiversity and science activity between the regions university’s and local BAP partners and provided local biodiversity partners with free access to relevant research and monitoring skills at universities and institutes in Wessex, free access to training courses and training.
Floodplain & Catchment Woodland (Somerset Farming & Wildlife Advisory Group) This project supported different initiatives to help with better farm management in the Parrett catchment involving:
  • demonstrations of on-farm rainwater harvesting, water recycling and reprocessing of waste water
  • the more efficient use of water for irrigating potatoes by scheduling and benchmarking water use by growers
  • help to develop the land management actions within the 20 year Somerset flood action plan
  • assessment of the effectiveness of woodland to "slow the flow" of rainwater through floodplain woodland and planting on steep slopes to reduce run-off.
Buglife Invertebrates, Springs & Seepages
Springs and seepages are small habitats which link groundwater, surface water and terrestrial habitats. Often overlooked as a habitat and under-researched, this project aimed to identify key sites, identify the species using them and create management guidance. The project surveyed 33 sites across the region, recording a total of 431 terrestrial invertebrates and 180 aquatic invertebrates in the Blackdown Hills; 221 and 143 on the cliffs around Charmouth; and 220 and 75 at Wiltshire sites respectively. In the Mendips 379 terrestrial species were recorded along with 76 aquatic species in spring 2012, 75 in summer 2012 and 105 in 2013. The findings helped support the identification of key springs and seepage sites and the management guidance produced should help landowners guard these rare features for the future.

Working for wildlife

Wessex Water's partner programme phase 4 2010 - 2015