The UK River Prize celebrates the achievements of those individuals and organisations working to improve our rivers and catchments, and recognises the benefits to society of having a healthy natural environment.
Administered by the River Restoration Centre and judged by a panel of experts, the overall winner of the UK River Prize for 2018, and recipient of the Nigel Holmes Trophy, will be announced at an Awards Dinner in Nottingham on the 24th April 2018.
There are four project categories to the Award: Catchment Scale project, Urban River project, Innovation and Multiple Benefit Partnership project. Winners from each category go forward to the Overall UK River Prize.
Tracey Doherty, Wetland Landscape Officer for the Lead Partner, Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, said: “We are delighted to announce that the Tame Valley Wetlands Landscape Partnership is the winner of the Multiple Benefit Partnership Category. This is wonderful acknowledgement of all the exciting projects and activities that have been delivered in the Tame Valley Wetlands Nature Improvement Area since September 2014 thanks to funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and support from a fantastic volunteer network. Our partners have supported our work and provided valuable match funding to make this scheme a success.
We’re working closely with the Environment Agency, Parish, Borough and County Councils, the local community, farmers, land owners and local volunteers, interest groups and angling clubs to deliver a wide range of projects which will enhance the Tame Valley Wetlands for wildlife and people.
Our large river and wetland habitat projects aim to restore river processes, reconnect floodplains, create wetland habitat which makes space for water in high flow events. Restoring natural processes has a positive effect to water quality which will ultimately benefit the small freshwater invertebrates and fish populations that depend on them. Fish require a variety of habitats at different life stages so making the river more complex and providing refuge areas will support natural recruitment and survival rates.
Our work to manage invasive non-native species such as Himalayan balsam, Japanese knotweed and American mink in the scheme area enhances the riparian habitats even further and will encourage recolonisation of our native plant species and mammals such as water vole which is in severe decline.”
Over the last four years, the Tame Valley Wetlands Landscape Partnership has so far:
- improved 1,935 metres of watercourse;
- created or restored 35 hectares of wetland habitat;
- restored 1,466 metres of hedgerow through planting and laying;
- created over 15,500 face-to-face engagements with the public, through school and youth sessions, events and training;
- held 226 events and training sessions;
- secured £325,000 of volunteer time and in-kind support from partner organisations;
- designated 3 sites as Local Wildlife Sites (with more planned this year);
- created the ‘Gateway to the Tame Valley Wetlands’ Visitor Centre at Kingsbury Water Park;
- created a long distance footpath ‘The Tame Way' and various circular walks.
...resulting in an investment of £2.1 million in the Tame Valley Wetlands' landscape between Birmingham and Tamworth over the last four years, with a significant proportion from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The River Tame is in recovery and the Partnership is focused on delivering further projects which will ensure there is ecological resilience in the River Tame Catchment, supporting our precious wetland wildlife in the future from human pressures such as pollution, flooding, development and climate change.
'Tame Valley Wetlands' is a Landscape Partnership Scheme supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund, aiming to create a wetland landscape, rich in wildlife and accessible to all.
The Tame Valley Wetlands Landscape Partnership is led by Warwickshire Wildlife Trust in partnership with a wide variety of organisations including charities, local groups, statutory bodies and councils.