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.
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).
River Nar Projects
Working with an outdoor pig unit
October - December 2017
This project involved the installation of two silts traps, several buffer strips and some track restoration work at a pig farm in West Acre.
River restoration at Pentney
October 2014 - March 2015
Work has taken place to improve the habitat diversity and wildlife at a heavily modified section of the River Nar between Pentney Abbey and Blackborough End.
Re-connecting the lost river at Emmanuel’s Common
June - November 2014
As part of a series of river restoration projects on the River Nar, Norfolk Rivers Trust have resurrected an exceptionally intact but disconnected river channel.
A more dynamic river at West Acre
September - October 2013
Norfolk Rivers Trust, Norfolk Rivers Internal Drainage Board (IDB) and Cain Bio-Engineering teamed up to restore a large section of the River Nar at West Acre.
Mileham restoration: Creating a varied channel
Working with the Coca-Cola and WWF Freshwater Partnership, Norfolk Rivers Trust have undertaken measures to improve the health of the chalk-fed River Nar.
Upper Nar soil trapping
June 2012 - December 2014
As part of the WWF & Coca-Cola funded project to improve water quality in the River Nar, it was decided that sediment trapping was needed.