Hot and dry weather affecting our rivers and freshwater habitats
Friday July 22nd, 2022
Dry summer? It’s been a dry year all-round! Sadly, this prolonged lack of rain, accompanied by extreme heat, can have tragic implications for our rivers and wildlife. Not only are we seeing dry river-beds across Norfolk, including the upper catchments of some of our precious chalk steams, we’re also seeing freshwater habitats disappear. This can be a natural occurrence, but it is happening en masse – especially were there is a lack of tree shade and cover.
The heatwave poses another key threat, particularly to rare species that have evolved in Norfolk’s cool chalk waters (such as bullhead and white-clawed crayfish), as warmer water leads to reduced oxygen levels and increased evaporation (concentrating pollutants).
Meanwhile, our beaver reintroduction site is holding masses of water in the newly created ponds and canals. This is supporting the upper Glaven and providing a vital wet habitat for many species…
It’s hard to imagine how we might improve climate resilience without these industrious creatures playing a key role!
Water needs to be valued and distributed fairly, and we can all contribute to this. Find out how you can save water.