Restoring our Amazing Rivers

Claire Spicer, our Catchment Advisor for the 'Restoring Our Amazing Rivers' project, tells us about her work in Herefordshire.

I work as a Catchment Advisor for the 'Restoring Our Amazing Rivers' project which is funded by DEFRA’s Water Environment Grant. This is a partnership project between the Wye and Usk Foundation (WUF), the Wye Valley Area of Natural Beauty (AONB), Herefordshire Wildlife Trust (HWT) and Herefordshire Rural Hub (HRH).  The project aims to deliver a range of benefits to the River Wye and its tributaries, particularly the River Lugg. 

The entire length of the River Lugg is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and south of Hope-under-Dinmore it is designated as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) under the Habitats Directive.  The River Lugg is currently achieving Poor Ecological Status under the Water Framework Directive (WFD). Some of the reasons for why the River Lugg is failing to achieve Good Ecological Status are related pollution from agricultural activities. 

River Lugg

...I have [supported] a variety of projects including; 5km of fencing along the River Lugg and its tributaries, 500m of new hedging, 30 hectares of sward lifting and 50 hectares of cover crops.

My project aims to support the River Lugg in achieving Good Ecological Status. To achieve this I conduct free, informal and confidential visits to landowners within the River Lugg catchment. I look at current land management practices and offer advice on how to make small changes to improve soil management, yard infrastructure, natural flood management and wildlife connectivity. I provide a report which details my recommendations along with signposts to any grant opportunities that may be available in the catchment, to support you with your projects. This year I have been able to access grants to support a variety of projects including; 5km of fencing along the River Lugg and its tributaries, 500m of new hedging, 30 hectares of sward lifting and 50 hectares of cover crops. In addition to this work I support farmers with applications for Countryside Stewardship Schemes between February and July.

If you would like to find out more about how I can help you please get in touch with me on 07741 856770 or at

Brown bird with white breast and throat standing on rock in a stream

Dipper (c) Mike Snelle

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