Making a difference where you live

Creating the perfect home for wildlife

On the outskirts of Lewes we are managing a project that will see the realignment of a local stream and the creation of a new wetland habitat.

The project is a partnership between the council, Ouse and Adur Rivers Trust, Lewes Railway Land Wildlife Trust and South Downs National Park Authority and will bring huge biodiversity benefits and reduce flood risk in the area.

Adjacent to the Lewes Brooks, the Cockshut is a chalk stream that is currently clogged up by a non-native invasive plant called parrot’s feather.

By realigning the stream , the old channel can be filled in, eradicating the problem plant, and the stream will flow into a newly created wetland.

Matthew Bird

Councillor Matthew Bird, Cabinet Member for Sustainability, said:

“Instigating nature-based solutions to climate change is a vital part of our plans. The creation of this new habitat will help support wildlife and nature at a time when they are facing huge threats and ensure that this landscape is resilient to flooding and other climate change impacts.”

Planning permission for the project was recently secured and council officers are now working with partners finalising the funding requirements and working through the planning conditions.

Later this year it is also hoped that the Ringmer Wetlands project will be completed. This is the development of an area of washland in the centre of Ringmer that will help to reduce the risk to flooding to an area of established housing that has experienced flooding over many decades.

Johnny Denis

Councillor Johnny Denis, Cabinet Member for Communities and Customers, said:

“We all know that nature is in decline across the UK, but in Lewes district we believe it’s our duty to do what we can to restore the natural environment. If other local authorities take our lead and implement similar strategies, together we will make a bigger difference.”

Lewes District Conservation