The rivers Ouse and Adur flow through a mosaic of landscapes, a journey that takes them from their springheads in the headwaters of the High Weald with its steep sided ghylls to the saltmarsh fringed estuaries at Newhaven and Shoreham that empty into the sea along the Sussex coast. They pass through woodland, grasslands, and arable fields, towns, villages and small communities, they are fed by streams, ditches and wetlands and a few internationally renowned chalk springs.
Despite supporting a diverse ecology, migratory and non-migratory fish, mammals, invertebrate and bird species, few stretches of either river remain ‘natural’. Many are dammed, canalised and polluted. Wetlands and riparian vegetation have been lost and rivers isolated from their floodplains. Natural rivers sustain a rich variety of life, they provide us with water, food and medicine, building materials and recreation. They can mitigate floods and droughts, support forests and recharge groundwater.
The Adur and Ouse Catchment Partnership aims to re-naturalise our river systems by restoring natural processes, allowing the river to function naturally by reducing our impact, allowing people and nature to thrive.
There are a number of pressures on our rivers, find out more and what we are doing to protect and enhance them by visiting our interactive map