Building the Freshwater Network

by Freshwater Habitats Trust in Oxford, England, United Kingdom

Total raised £30

Gift Aid
+ est. £7.50
£940,000 target 304 days left
0% 2 supporters
Flexible funding – this project will receive all pledges made by 31st March 2025 at 12:00pm

Join us to build a network of wilder, wetter, cleaner, more connected habitats to stop and reverse the decline in freshwater biodiversity.

by Freshwater Habitats Trust in Oxford, England, United Kingdom

Building a better future for freshwater

Our streams, ponds, wetlands, lakes, rivers and ditches create a network that supports freshwater wildlife – and is essential for our own wellbeing. But these habitats have never faced greater threats and unpolluted water is now one of the scarcest natural resources. As a result, freshwater species are declining faster than any other group.

We have a vision for a better future. Over the next 50 years, we're focused on achieving:

  • 100% increase in the number of clean water ponds
  • 100% increase in floodplain habitats in near natural condition
  • 100% increase in High status freshwater habitats
  • 100% increase in populations of freshwater Species of Conservation Concern

 And we want you to be part of it.


The Freshwater Network

Freshwater plants and animals rely on a network of clean, high quality habitats.

To build the Freshwater Network, we’ve developed a practical delivery approach to freshwater conservation and recovery. We're focusing on protecting the most nature-rich habitats, while also creating and restoring habitats to build out from - and connect - these biodiversity hotspots.

With your support, we can accelerate the creation of the Freshwater Network in two key areas: Oxfordshire/Buckinghamshire and the New Forest. In both regions we have a pipeline of 'shovel-ready' sites, thanks to our established relationships with partners and landowners who share our vision.


Restoring Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire's rich freshwater heritage

These two counties have a rich wetland and freshwater heritage. Here, we'll create and restore 70 hectares of new Priority and SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) grade freshwater and wetland habitats. We'll also carry out research to learn more about how freshwaters and small wetlands can capture and store carbon, helping us to mitigate against climate change.

Local communities will join us to build the Freshwater Network. We'll extend our popular GroWet project, which has already involved nearly 1,000 people of all ages nurturing rare and endangered wetland plants at home and in schools and community centres before they are introduced to wild places across the two counties.


Growing the New Forest's world famous wetlands

The New Forest is world famous for its wetland wildlife. Here, we'll grow the blue network of clean freshwater habitats from the heart of the New Forest's protected wetlands outwards; bringing clean water back to restored heathlands, woodlands, grasslands and along repaired river valleys.

We'll restore ponds and small wetlands which are critical to the freshwater biodiversity of the New Forest, supporting around 80% of endangered freshwater species in the National Park.

Building on our public engagement work with local communities, we'll raise awareness of the exceptional richness of the New Forest’s freshwaters, including the traditional grazing economy which is the cornerstone for the maintenance of this landscape.


Building on our success

This project will double the area of freshwater habitat we're protecting and restoring in these two regions. It will also double the number of people we can engage in the Freshwater Network.

 As the UK’s leading charity for all freshwaters, we've been creating, restoring and protecting freshwater habitats for more than 35 years. By supporting us to build the Freshwater Network, you can be part of the next chapter in our history.

Together, we can bring clean water back to the landscape to stop and reverse the decline in freshwater biodiversity. 

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