The Renewal Project
The RENEWAL Community Project (Restoration in NEWbury along the river Lambourn) follows on from The Heritage Lottery funded programme, and work carried out on the river by the Environment Agency, which began in 2009 and aimed to help restore chalk river characteristics. This involved putting gravel into the river and altering the width of the river channel to encourage it to flow more quickly and reduce the amount of deposited silt. Some trees alongside the river were cut back to allow more light into the river to increase plant growth.
Chalk rivers should have clean and clear water with high levels of oxygen. The gravel that makes up the river bed provides a suitable environment for brown trout to lay their eggs and the oxygen-rich water allows the eggs to develop. The conditions also encourage a diverse range of plants and insects. The river Lambourn has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) as it is a nationally important habitat due to the wildlife it supports.
As part of the RENEWAL Community Project, we are organising activities and events relating to both the river’s wildlife and history. We have recruited a team of volunteers to carry out practical conservation work in and around the river, including river clean-ups, wildlife monitoring and meadow management.