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Living Waters

Living Waters

Lead Partner

Freshwater Habitats Trust

What is it about?

The Freshwater Habitats Trust is leading this project on behalf of the New Forest Catchment Group to undertake habitat creation and restoration works on Beaulieu River.

The freshwaters of Beaulieu River support outstanding freshwater wildlife and it is important to protect and preserve them to enhance the Forest and for future generations to enjoy. Living Waters will raise awareness of the importance of the Forest’s freshwater habitats and the plants and animals they support.

The project will manage and create freshwater habitats and improve connectivity for plants and animals, including declining species such as eel and the common toad. It will also address diffuse pollution and land management practise, looking at horse pasture management and campsites. Livign Waters will give people the opportunity to see the amazing wildlife that lives underwater through a series of workshops and events, with those keen to volunteer able to help monitor the quality of the water environment or participate in practical tasks.

The project will:

  • Raise awareness of the importance of freshwater habitats and their biodiversity
  • Improve the water quality of 12.2km of stream, with 2.9km improved for fish passage. This improved water quality (through means such as decreased nutrient levels) will increase priority species populations
  • Achieve favourable condition for rivers
  • Create a minimum of two new ponds achieving Priority Pond status and manage four existing ponds to achieve Priority Pond status
  • Run training sessions for volunteers and distribute volunteer phosphate and nitrate sample kits for monitoring waterbodies within the Beaulieu River catchment (including ponds, streams and ditches). Training will be provided to volunteers to help them use the volunteer water quality monitoring kits
  • Engage landowners and encourage sensitive management
  • Distribute packs to schools and have pupils show increased appreciation for the freshwater environment
  • Maintain freshwater habitats within the Open Forest to a high quality with no adverse impacts from camping
  • Run a clean water camping workshop and a horse pasture and clean water workshop.
Volunteering and training

A volunteer network undertakes water quality monitoring within the Beaulieu River catchment – covering all types of waterbodies. Baseline surveys will be completed to determine the change in the understanding and behaviour of local residents and visitors about nature conservation and the area’s natural and historical heritage. Volunteers also have the opportunity to help with other activities and events.

The project will provide support for the local community and volunteers on Beaulieu Abbey Stream, helping them discover more about its heritage and the relationship between the people who created the ponds and their use of the freshwater environment.

Visit the training and volunteering pages for information on specific roles within the Our Past, Our Future landscape partnership scheme.

If you would like to discuss volunteering opportunities within Living Waters, please contact Jane Nordstrom at


The New Forest Catchment Partnership has made an on-going commitment to support landowners beyond the end of the Living Waters project, with landowners committing to maintain certain measures for as long as they are fit for purpose. The project will be an example of best practice for small scale works in relatively un-impacted catchments to restore water quality and enhance biodiversity.

Contact details

Pascale Nicolet – Director of Policy and Implementation, Freshwater Habitats Trust

Tel: 01865 595507 / 07773 731564 or email:

Land Advice Service Manager


'We help commoners to continue their ancient way by providing grants, training and advice.'

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