1. Ouse Upstream Thinking (OUT)

Themes: Natural rivers; Water quality


  • 6. Encourage urban and rural populations, land and watercourse managers to play a positive role in sustainable river and water management.
  • 18. Tackle pollution in the Adur and Ouse catchment from both urban and rural sources.

Project description

The project aims to collaborate with the farming community around the upper Ouse, to protect and improve river water quality and the natural environment.

Good rural land management can significantly contribute to the health of local rivers, including the quality of the water. This project is looking at practical ways of preventing soil loss from agriculture in the Ouse catchment, through appropriate farm management practices, to reduce suspended solids, fertiliser and pesticide-related chemicals washing from fields into the river.

Removing these substances at the water treatment works, where river water is abstracted for public water supply, is very costly. Tackling the issue at source is beneficial for consumers and farmers alike.

A project officer funded by South East Water is currently liaising with farmers, piloting the approach around the Bevern Stream and the Cockhaise Brook. This includes providing advice and guidance, assessment and monitoring, and recording and reporting. Following this pilot work, the approach will be rolled out across the Ouse catchment from 2015 to 2020.

WFD status: Moderate
WFD overall status objective: To contribute to achieving good status across the upper Ouse tributaries.
Benefiting species/habitats: The headwaters of the river Ouse, and the flora and fauna they support, will benefit from improved river water quality.
Total area covered by project: 430 km2
Total area surveyed: 140 km2
Project lead: South East Water
Project partners: Environment Agency, University of Brighton
Funding source: South East Water
Contact for more information: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Project start: March 2013
Project end: March 2020
More information

Design by LTD Design Consultants and build by Garganey Consulting. From an original concept by the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust.