The Welland Valley Partnership
We think the best way to improve the health and resource of the Welland is to work at a local level to identify problems and tackle them together. To achieve this, we have formed a steering group and appointed a project officer to co‐ordinate activities through the Welland Rivers Trust.
Our steering group, known as the Welland Valley Partnership, formed in August 2011. Our partnership includes local authorities, organisations, charities and interest groups and is growing in numbers and commitment.
The partnership is chaired by the Welland Rivers Trust. All partners are equally committed to help restore the Welland and consider other aspirations and concerns relating to water management, community and environment. The initial steering group has grown and now includes:
- Anglian Water
- Angling Trust
- Environment Agency
- Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GCWT)
- National Farmers Union (NFU)
- Natural England
- Rutland County Council
- Welland and Deepings Internal Drainage Board
- Welland Rivers Trust
- Harborough District Council
- Catchment farmers
- University of Leicester
- Lincolnshire Fens
- Local wildlife trusts
The purpose of our partnership is to:
- provide a clear understanding of the issues that affect the Welland;
- enthuse local communities, groups, businesses and organisations and involve them in decision‐making and activities to help them improve, enjoy and understand their river and environment;
- work out priorities for improvement – what needs doing, where and in what order;
- deliver these improvements in a joined‐up and cost‐effective way;
- monitor the things we do to make sure they keep working effectively to improve the river and local resources;
- share information, evidence and ideas;
- demonstrate and, where necessary, test new innovative ways to resolve issues.
The partnership will also seek to maintain the things we have delivered into the future and provide a national blueprint for other pilot catchment schemes. To deliver this we will:
- seek involvement from as wide a range of people and interests as possible to develop and agree mutually‐beneficial plans to improve the river;
- promote greater awareness of the vast network of interlinked watercourses within the Welland Valley and how actions upstream have impacts downstream;
- encourage everyone whose actions affect water to think about how they can change their practices to minimise damage and maximise benefits;
- provide information and advice, harnessing and promoting good practice from within the Welland Valley and elsewhere;
- identify priority actions and help target them to those parts of the Valley where they will bring the greatest benefit most quickly;
- record actions taken to improve the river valley and monitor how these help to protect and enhance it;
- seek funds from all possible sources to help ensure good ideas can be implemented;
- help organisations to work together to make best use of scarce funds and to ensure no opportunities are missed;
- seek regular feedback on how we are doing, share these assessments, and review and adjust our work as necessary, in pursuit of the vision.
We will set up terms of reference for each group and work programmes to ensure that our work is well planned and maintained so that our improvements are sustained and that the River Welland is well managed into the future and beyond the timeframe set out for the Pilot Catchment initiative. The River Welland is vitally important in helping to reduce flood risk to people, property and infrastructure; this will always be a primary consideration for our work. All work carried out within the Welland Valley Partnership work programme will consider and conform to our obligations under national and international legislation.
The Welland Improvement Plan (2013) can be downloaded here: Welland_Valley_Partnership_River_Improvment_Plan
We are currently in the process of reviewing our existing action plan and projects, and will be issuing a new 5 year plan in 2016. This 5 year plan will encapsulate the progress made within the catchment so far, and the changes to funding eligibility and availability.