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There is a growing awareness of the possibility of horse ownership and/or equestrian business giving rise to localised high nutrient loading of surface waters and groundwaters. Whether you have one pony or manage a large racehorse stud or livery the following guide has something for you. It is part of a series of guides the Downs and Harbours Clean Water Partnership have produced to help local people combat issues concerning both drinking water quality and damage to aquatic environment. The guide provides information on best practice on the land, in yards and on tracks. It also contains information on advice and grant support available through the Downs and Harbours Clean Water Partnership.

The guide covers:

  • Managing horse pastures effectively and economically
  • Managing manure to maximise its use and comply with legalisation
  • Preventing runoff to limit environmental impacts that can effect water quality
  • Yard infrastructure improvements
  • Stable waste management

A copy of the leaflet can be found HERE


Septic Tank Awareness Campaign

We have recently published two documents to raise awareness of potential issues with septic tanks

1. Managing your septic tank and sewage treatment plant

2. A clean home shouldn't mean a dirty river


Using Herbicides in or Near Water

The Environment Agency has recently published a guidance note with regard to using herbicides in or near water. The notes explain the difference between amateur and professional products, what products are approved for use and who can use them. If you are considering the use of herbicides in or close to any water body then we strongly recommend that you read these guidance notes before taking any action. The notes can be found HERE

ARC Evaluation report

The Arun & Rother Connections (ARC) project final evaluation report is available to download HERE.

Many thanks to everyone who contributed to the report and to Mike King and his team at Resources for Change for producing this piece of work.

What's the most significant difference the ARC project has made? 

We asked a number of people this question as part of the project's evaluation. Here were their responses. Watch our short film HERE.

Habitat Potential Model

The ARC project created a Habitat Potential Model which maps the most appropriate areas at a landscape scale for the restoration of nine priority wetland habitats across the Arun & Western Rother Catchments. The model highlights the most effective places to focus effort in order to create the ‘biggest, best, and most joined up’ habitat network. Recently the model was updated to incorporate climate change data which shows how habitat networks are expected to alter with changes in climate.  

This model is a tool to help a range of organisations and individuals decide what their local landscape could look like both now and in the future, and to help target land management accordingly.  The report shows significant potential for wetland restoration across the catchment. We recommend that landowners and policy makers ground truth the model before making land management decisions.

The model combines data from a huge range of sources including hydrology, geology, soil type, protected areas etc., and it focuses on wet woodland, base poor and base rich fen, reedbed, lowland meadow, species poor tussock pasture, rush pasture, coastal and floodplain grazing marsh and saltmarsh.

The report can be downloaded HERE

Mapping of the Ecosystem Services in the ARC project area (using Ecoserv-GIS)

Ecoserv-GIS is a model developed by the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts for mapping ecosystem services or the services that nature provides. It is based on national datasets (although many are locally derived) and uses a series of rationales rooted in the National Ecosystem Assessment. When the ARC project was being developed this was an emerging area of research.  ARC was able to provide funding for the Sussex Biodiversity Records Centre to trial this new methodology. This report, which uses Horsham as a case study, summarises the findings. It is hoped that this will be a useful tool for planners and other stakeholders to take environmental services fully into account in short and long term landscape and urban planning. It can be downloaded HERE.

Catchment Volunteer Strategy and Training Plan (2016 - 2021).

This strategy outlines the vision for volunteering in the catchment as well as identifying priority projects and an action plan to develop voluntereing over the strategy timeframe. It also contains some valuable lessons and resources from the ARC project. It can be downloaded HERE.


Invasive Species Strategies

The ARC project focussed on delivery of the Arun Western Streams Invasive Non-Native Species Strategy which identified 9 priority species for control. This strategy is summarised HERE.

It was agreed that following on from the ARC project the focus for action should be the whole of the South Downs National Park. With that in mind the South Downs National Park Invasive Non-Native Species Strategy was updated and published and the South Downs Invasives Taskforce, chaired by the South Downs National Park, was established to oversee its delivery.

This strategy can be downloaded HERE.

For any questions about this area of work, please contact Jeremy Burgess, Chair of the South Downs Invasives Taskforce: / Tel: 01730 819 292 / Mobile: 07866 962679


A Community Guide to Your Water Environment

This guide aims to help you understand how your actions can protect this vital resource by helping you identify and record local issues, understand the shared governance of the water environment and help you develop the preparedness and resilience of your community.

The guide can be downloaded HERE


A Survey of Odonata on the Arun and Rother rivers, West Sussex.

The report, by Dave Sadler, can be downloaded HERE.