Norfolk’s Two Chalk Rivers – Restored, Revitalised, Resilient
‘Norfolk’s Two Chalk Rivers – Restored, Revitalised, Resilient’ is a collaborative project between Norfolk Rivers Trust and the Norfolk Coast Partnership. The project aims to deliver 20 km of river restoration on the Hun and Stiffkey – two rare chalk rivers of international importance (with only 210 chalk streams worldwide). A range of Nature-based Solutions (NbSs) – from wetlands and ponds to tree and reedbed planting – will be created to improve water quality, biodiversity and habitat connectivity and complexity, with the added benefit of capturing carbon and mitigating the impacts of climate change.
An important element of the project focuses on public engagement and the development of new skills for local people. A comprehensive community plan has been created, and this includes a variety of training workshops including filmmaking, species identification surveys and riverfly monitoring, along with many opportunities for volunteers. In addition, the project will provide 6 local jobs and 4 kickstart placements (for 16–24-year-olds).
This project is funded by the Government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund. The fund was developed by Defra and its Arm’s-Length Bodies. It is being delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England, the Environment Agency and Forestry Commission.
Norfolk Rivers Trust is leading the capital works, while the Norfolk Coast Partnership is overseeing the engagement and outreach work. Both organisations have been kept busy by completing the following:
- Fenland restoration near Saxlingham
- Wet woodland and wetland creation near Barney
- Integrated Constructed Wetland creation at Langham
- Binham stream restoration at Langham
- Hosting guided walks along the Hun and Stiffkey to explore the locations earmarked for restoration.
- Providing two six-month paid kickstart positions (aimed at 16 – 24-year-olds) to help deliver the project.
- Running a series of free workshops – held by Norfolk Wildlife Trust – to discover river wildlife and learn how to evaluate river health.
Working with stakeholders, farmers and landowners across both river catchments has been fundamental in making the project a success.