Welland Valley Partnership

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The Welland Rivers Trust
is registered as a charity.
Registration Number: 1140174

 Welland Rivers Trust Ltd.
Company No. 07264256 
Registered in England and Wales

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Welcome to The Welland Rivers Trust


The River Welland rises above Market Harborough and flows through the gently rolling countryside of Northamptonshire, Leicestershire and Rutland, before reaching Stamford  where it is one of the features that makes the town so attractive. Below Stamford, the river continues on its way to Market Deeping and Spalding where its character changes, slowing down as it becomes one of the four fenland rivers which drain the Fens, before entering The Wash.


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People have relied on the Welland for thousands of years for water, food, drainage, transport and energy and as a result, the River and its valley have changed enormously. For example, the River used to flow through the Trinity Bridge in Crowland, which is now almost a mile away and the bridge is now a dry monument in the centre of the town.
While many of these changes have been positive, such as the creation of the water meadows which were such an important feature of the Welland Valley, others have been destructive. Although we have seen vast improvements in water quality, we are left with the legacy of some of these changes, particularly those associated with the physical nature of the river, how it behaves in draining the land and how much water flows in it. There are also other newer pressures affecting the river, such as sediment from fields.
The Welland Valley Partnership has recently been set up to bring a wide range of partners together, including the Welland Rivers Trust, to try to solve some of the problems. The Rivers Trust was set up by volunteers who want to see a better river and to act to achieve it. We are pleased to be part of the Partnership and to take a central role. A lot of work is already being done to try to improve water quality and wildlife habitats in and around the River. Now we want more people and organisations to get involved in identifying what else needs to be done and helping to make a difference.

The Welland Improvement Plan
A final version of the document, "Enhancing the River Welland", has now been released. This sets out what some of the issues are, what is already happening, what more could be done and who can help. This plan is just the start of a process to involve individuals, communities, organisations, companies and farmers in working together to improve the River. We want you to join the partnership and to help in any way to make the River even more beautiful, a wonderful resource for wildlife and a valued amenity. We want to hear your views, suggestions and offers of help to make the Welland Valley a better place.

Download a copy of the Welland Improvement Plan - Final Version. Published Feb 2013

Download a copy of the Welland Valley project map (10.4MB)
To offer your views and ideas, or for more information, please contact:

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Drayton River Enhancement Project
Friday, 16 March 2012 12:06

During the 1970s the River Welland was significantly modified. The natural river morphology was altered to improve land drainage and flood water discharge. The river was deepened; many meanders, pools, riffles and glides were removed; and the river was constricted within high, straight banks. High winter flood flows and poor land management practices now cause significant bank erosion and sedimentation. Prior to modification a high proportion of these nutrient-rich sediments would have been deposited on the floodplain, providing rich grazing pasture, but, as a result of the flood defence works, a large proportion of these sediments now remain in the channel, degrading habitats including fish spawning gravels. As a result the River Welland is currently failing to meet the Water Framework Directive (WFD) objective of “good ecological status” because of high phosphate levels and poor fish populations. Remedial action is required.

To ensure that the river meets WFD objectives in the future the Welland is now one of 10 catchments across England where an integrated approach to catchment management is being piloted. The pilot includes the implementation of a series of river enhancement projects and one of these is the scheme at Drayton.

To download and read the full project Case Study, click here.

New staff for the Welland Rivers Trust
Thursday, 02 August 2012 12:00

The Welland Rivers Trust welcomes the arrival of two new members of staff to continue the work of the Trust up to date and complete the production of our Improvement Plan for the river by December 2012. Liz Jameson joined the Trust at the end of June 2012 as Project Officer. She will be coordinating the activities of the final Plan on behalf of the Trust and the Welland Valley Partnership. The main tasks she has are to continue to discover what actions are happening along the river and listen to local communities and other interested parties about their veiws of the river and the Draft Plan. In this way we can ensure that our activities and those of our partners reflect what everyone, including local residents, want to see from their river whilst ensuring that it supports more wildlife, recreation and agriculture. Before joining the Trust, Liz worked for the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust’s Osprey Project at Rutland Water for three seasons. Community and volunteer engagement were a big part of the role, so her expereince will be put to good use in the coming months for the work of the Welland Rivers Trust.


Lisa Smallwood joined the Trust in July 2012 on a three month internship through the University of Leicester as Data Officer. She will produce a GIS database of all activities along the river and map out all the information we can find relating to the wildlife recorded along the river, land use, habitats and water quality. After finishing her internship, Lisa will start at PhD in conjunction with the University of Leicester and the Trust around the restoration of the Welland in Market Harborough focusing on the ecological design of the project. Before joining the Trust Lisa competed an MSc in Global Environmental Change at the University of Leicester in 2011.


If you would like to share any information with us on your views of the river or want to let us know of any activities or projects that you are involved in or suggest projects that we should become involved in, please contact Liz and Lisa via the website or send an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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Publications Downloads

draft planDownload The Welland Improvement Plan.

The final version, published Feb 2013, provides a complete review of the Trust's activities and projects.

Click here to get your free copy (6.4MB download).


Download the Welland Valley Partnership Septic Tank Action Plan leaflet.

Click here to get your free copy (111k download)

For information on our promotional work on septic tanks, click here.


The Welland Rivers Trust is a member of the Association of Rivers Trusts

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