Joining forces to care for and improve our rivers

THE Sussex Ouse Conservation Society has now joined forces with the River Adur Conservation Society to form the Ouse and Adur Rivers Trust (OART).

The Trust is dedicated to the environmental protection and enhancement of the two rivers and their tributaries. These have been designated as one catchment by DEFRA and chosen as one of 10 pilot catchments to lead the way in UK river restoration.

Volunteers of OART have risen to the challenge with enthusiasm and, with significant Government funding, are carrying out both minor and major improvements to the rivers.

The Ouse is famous as a breeding ground for sea trout and hundreds of tons of gravel have been introduced to provide spawning sites.

In the coming years OART will be removing redundant weirs and improving the overall river corridor habitat quality.

Every first Sunday of the month volunteer members of the water testing team collect samples from various locations along the River Ouse.

These samples are chemically analysed using OART’s “in house” testing facilities. The results of these tests are published on OART’s website and reports sent to the Environment Agency and Southern Water.

Said Charity Trustee Sam Pierre: “If we can muster a few more volunteers we could extend this monitoring to the River Adur.

“We would be delighted to hear from anyone interested in helping out [info@oart.org.uk].”

OART works in partnership with the Environment Agency and campaigns for improvements in water quality, particularly lobbying against the licensed discharge of untreated sewage into our rivers

Members support student projects and provide information to a wider audience through presentations at local events.

Elsewhere, the South Downs Society has announced the appointment of a new President, Baroness Whitaker.

She lives at Piddinghoe and is a keen environmentalist who enjoys walking on the Downs.

The Baroness is also a member of the Friends of the Peak District and the Friends of the Lake District.