New Forest Catchment Partnership

Catchment partnership vision

In the New Forest we have the opportunity to protect and restore freshwater and coastal habitats to the very highest standards. This is possible in the New Forest because:

  • evidence on the status of the New Forest habitats has been gathered by statutory and non-statutory agencies and species experts for many years
  • the small scale of many waterbodies means that there is considerable potential to resolve pollution issues
  • landowners and communities understand the special nature of the New Forest and are willing to take action
  • there are already networks and links between key stakeholders and existing projects which have the potential to implement action

The New Forest Catchment Partnership’s vision is to go even further by including ponds, small lakes, headwaters and mires and aiming to improve to near natural conditions, where this is achievable

Related websites

Find out more about the activities and ambitions of this catchment partnership and how you can get involved to help improve the water environment in the catchment.

Catchment challenges

Current challenges identified by partnership

  • Pollution from agriculture and rural areas

    Small scale tenant farming, horticulture and recreation from camping and equestrian result in diffuse pollution

  • Pollution from waste water

    Waste water, private discharges and storm overflows, impact on water quality in streams with naturally low flows

  • Physical modifications

    Historical land drainage modifications affect habitats fish passage and will create inland and coastal flood risk

Wider water environment challenges identified by partnership

  • Nature Recovery, protect and enhance rare habitats including chalk streams

  • Nature Recovery, designated areas for nature and biodiversity

  • Support Nature Recovery Network and Local Nature Recovery Strategy

  • Reduce storm overflows and drainage system incidents

  • Build environmental resilience and adaptation to climate change

  • Connecting communities with nature

Future challenges predicted by partnership

  • Pollution from agriculture and rural areas

  • Pollution from waste water

  • Changes to the natural flow and water levels

Future challenges predicted by Environment Agency

Future challenges in 2050

  • Invasive Non-native Species
  • Changes to the Natural Flow and Water Levels
  • Physical Modifications

Emerging challenges

  • Changes to the Natural Flow and Water Levels
  • Pollution from waste water
  • Physical Modifications

Partnership success highlights 2016 to 2021

Preparation of project bids in partnership with New Forest National Park Authority for the Green Recovery Challenge Fund to provide match funding for WEIF funded projects; Wilder for Water, Blue Horizons and Equine Pastures.  Bid successful and the Green and Blue Horizons Scheme started September 2021 – March 2023. 

Development and delivery of three WEIF and one WEG projects in the catchment for delivery of works in 2022/2023; Blue Horizons (a partnership project with NF key stakeholders and adjacent catchment hosts); Wilder for Water (tackling recreation pressure and diffuse pollution from campsites); Continuation of the Bartley and Fletchwood Water Quality management work (capital delivery 21/22 – now complete); Hatchet Pond (WEG) (a partnership project to reduce the recreation pressures on this WFD/SAC lake and halt the decline in water quality).

Preparation of three project mandates for WEIF funding 2022-2025; Think Tank (a project to reduce impact of private sewage treatment works on WFD waterbodies and protected sites); Road Runner (reduce the impact of road drainage on sensitive receiving water (protected sites) in the New Forest catchment; Equine Pastures (reducing impact of equine activities on protected sites and WFD across the NF catchment).

Partnership development plans

For more information on current projects, priorities and future plans visit our website:

Partnership priority actions and measures for 2022 to 2027

Catchment Partnership contributors

Partners involved in the creation of this page and the actions of the partnership: