The project is funded by the University of Northampton and the South Downs National Park Authority and focuses on the River Rother catchment upstream of its confluence with the River Arun at Pulborough (Figure 1). Phase 1 of the project will involve a reconnaissance survey which will be undertaken on the whole of the Rother catchment in order to identify sub-catchments where sediment pressures are most extreme. (This phase of the project will also be informed by existing Environment Agency assessment of pressures on the river). More detailed research will be undertaken within the sub-catchments in Phase 2 of the project in order to quantify sediment sources and pressures by identifying and mapping areas of extreme erosion and sediment pathways to the main river and by the use of sediment fingerprinting. Phase 3 of the project will involve an analysis of sedimentary records contained in small ponds and reservoirs within the selected sub-catchments in order to establish the extent to which rates of erosion have changed since the beginning of the 20th Century. Any changes in sedimentation will be related to historical changes in land use and long term weather patterns.
Phase 4 of the project will develop and provide educational materials that will be produced in liaison with Hannah Norton (SDNPA Education Officer) to inform her associated work. Hannah will ensure that the educational outputs are linked to all partner (external) education programmes. Our intention is to provide materials suitable for secondary (A level) / university level students and materials will be made available on the South Downs Learning Zone and through presentations offered to the South Downs Learning Partnership. Our intention is to provide briefing notes, PowerPoint presentations, data sets suitable for EA (undated, b) Water Body Summary Information (Data based on SERBMP Dec 2009). Available from The Environment Agency.
The latest update from Jennie Evans, the SMART PhD Student!