The Issues

The Issues

Rivers, wetlands and marine environments are all under pressure. Understanding the issues is key to providing lasting solutions for both people and nature.

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Explore the Catchment

Explore the Catchment

Do you know where your local river or stream is? Our map shows the catchment and provides information on the water environment across the whole area.

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Get Involved

Get Involved

There are many ways you can help to improve the local environment and we are always keen to get people and business involved in our activities.

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What is a catchment?

A catchment is an area of land including hills, farmland, woodlands, towns and villages from which water drains after rainfall. This water flows into streams, rivers, lakes and underground aquifers, eventually flowing into the sea through our estuaries. The water which flows above ground is called surface water and the water that seeps into the soil is called ground water. There are 100 catchment areas in England and Wales, all are different but all are formed on the basic principle that they collect all the rainfall in that area. 

Catchments provide a range of benefits for people and wildlife, they provide natural flow to rivers, sustain wetlands and host a diverse array of plants and animals. We use the water collected within the catchment for many things; to drink and use in our homes, produce food, support local industry and provide recreational activities such as angling, canoeing and swimming.

Our Areas of Work

Coastal Waters

The estuaries and marine environment provide precious habitats and a range of benefits. Find out more about our aims for the central Sussex Coast.

Natural Flood Management

How we work with nature and natural processes across the catchment to reduce the risk of flooding to local communities in our area.


Find out more about how we are supporting the protection of water in the aquifers of the South Downs, a vital supply of drinking water.

Natural Rivers

This is what we want, natural rivers full of a diverse range of wildlife and able to provide a recreational resource for communities.

Surface Water Quality

Many of our waterways suffer from pollution from a wide range of diffuse and point sources. Find out how we are working to improve this.

Latest News

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Historical Moment for Rivers?

We now have a new Environment Act. It’s not the best Act we wanted for the environment, but it is a better Act – and that is largely thanks to you. If you’d sat us down a year ago and told us that The Environment Act would contain an entire chapter on sewage pollution, we wouldn’t have believed you.  Thanks … Continued

Call for Nature Sites

The SDNPA has launched a Call for Nature Sites. This is a pilot project seeking to identify potential land that could contribute to nature recovery across the South Downs National Park. We are looking to hear from landowners, land managers, communities, businesses, and conservation groups to put forward possible sites where new wildlife habitat could be … Continued

Vacancy – Marine Social Scientist – Sussex Kelp

Closing Date: 24th October 2021 A fixed term contract until September 2022. You’ll work with the Sussex Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities (IFCA) and use a range of research methods, including stakeholder mapping, interviews and desk-based evidence gathering. The research outcomes will illustrate how local and national support helped make the case for the byelaw, … Continued

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