ARK (Action for River Kennet) has embarked on a new ‘Sparkling Streams’ project in partnership with other nearby river groups with the aim of encouraging residents to become more involved in key aspects of the rivers and surrounding environments.
The Sparkling Streams project is a partnership between Action for the River Kennet, the Town and Manor of Hungerford and the Southern Streams Farmer Group, co-ordinated by North Wessex Downs AONB. This project is funded by the government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund. The fund is being delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England and the Environment Agency.
Work on the Rivers Dun, Shalbourne and Kennet begins this month, with opportunities for people to get involved.
Residents in Shalbourne, Hungerford and surrounding areas are encouraged to take part in improving their local rivers and learning more about nature. Activities will include improving wildlife habitats on the River Dun, Shalbourne and Kennet, woodland and hedgerow planting, water quality testing and guided wildlife walks.
ARK’s Sparkling Streams project officer James Laurence King said: “We are fixing problems on the river as well as problems on the land that affect the river, so we are working with the whole community including residents, farmers and schools. That means there are plenty of tasks to help with over the coming months, from planting trees to fixing footpaths and looking for water voles.’
“The next opportunity to help is the construction of a Rain Garden at Shalbourne CE Primary School, Tuesday 1 – Sat 5 June 2021. Please come along and volunteer!” he sdded.
What will this achieve? Rain gardens reduce and slow down the flow of storm water into the drainage system, hence helping to prevent untreated waste overflowing into the rivers. Shalbourne’s rain garden has been designed by Wendy Allen. ARK are keen to encourage volunteers. And whether just a keen gardener or enjoy spending time outdoors, volunteers will have the chance to learn about rain gardens, work alongside an RHS Gold Medal winning garden designer and a skilled conservation officer to create a beautiful new green space at Shalbourne CE Primary School. Tools and equipment will be provided, so all a prospective volunteer has to do is to book in advance.