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The River Nar is a globally rare chalk-stream and is arguably Norfolk’s most unspoilt and beautiful example. As it flows through the downs and fenland of north-west Norfolk, its progression from chalk river to fen river is distinctive. This gives the Nar high conservation value, which is reflected in its Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) designation.

Nevertheless, the river is not without its problems and challenges. It has been modified along most of its length and pressures on the river are intense, for example, abstraction, diffuse pollution and the legacy of channel modifications all inhibit the ecological potential of the river.

Image credit: Darren Williams (Male banded demoiselle)

The Nar has, in recent years, been subjected to extensive and intensive investigation relating to its management, nature conservation and fishery interest, as well as determining how landowners and the public treat and regard the river. The investigations, subsequent consultations and attempts to implement rehabilitation measures indicate an overwhelming high regard for the river and a desire to enable protection and improvements when, and wherever, possible.

The Nar Catchment Plan is designed to help us preserve and enhance the Nar’s rich and diverse ecology to achieve what is termed “Good Ecological Status or Potential” (GES or GEP) under the European Water Framework Directive (WFD).


Image credit: Jon Gray (The River Nar)

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