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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Nature Recovery Award Launched in Horsham District

Wilder Horsham District is a partnership project between Sussex Wildlife Trust and Horsham District Council working to create a Nature Recovery Network for Horsham District. To help protect and enhance wildlife at a district level, Wilder Horsham District offers funding to support landowners and community groups wishing to implement practical schemes to expand and improve … Continued

Sussex Flow Initiative Annual Report

The Sussex Flow Initiative has published it’s end of year report that outlines the amount of work delivered this year. A few highlights from 2020/21: We influenced approximately 537 hectares of land, equivalent to the size of 20,406 tennis courts. We created 1 scrapes and ponds, storing approximately 132,500 litres  reconnected 3.3 hectares of floodplain … Continued

The World’s Forgotten Fish

A fascinating report recently published by WWF is “a celebration of freshwater fish but also a call to action. With more species of fish living in freshwater than in all the seas and oceans they play a critical role in ecosystems and for humans. This report highlights the importance of these “undervalued and overlooked” species … Continued

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