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Land & Water Group collaborates to preserve the UK’s rare chalk rivers

Land & Water Group’s Terraqua Environmental Solutions (TES) team, alongside its Plant division, has worked collaboratively to carry out weed cutting on the Rivers Test and Itchen in Hampshire to maintain the chalk stream. There are only 200 chalk rivers in the world and 85% of them are found in the UK. As a result, protecting these habitats is of high environmental importance.

TES was instructed by members of the river’s angling associations to assist weed cutting during the summer months. The targeted species included Ribben, Ranunculus, Mares Tail and Scurpus and was carried out within strict deadlines in time for the weed booms deployed and managed by the Environment Agency. 

The characteristics of the river, with its high-water flow and shallow areas, meant Land & Water used its Truxor and Conver weed-cutting machines simultaneously to deliver the works successfully. The amphibious Truxor was able to cut weeds in the shallowest of areas whilst the Conver was launched from a hydraulic trailer, towed behind a 130HP tractor, to carry out works in the fast-flowing sections of the river.

Mike Osborne, TES Operational Manager, said, “This was the first time we have worked on these beautiful waters and with the assistance of the angling clubs and societies, we were able to successfully deliver the weed cutting to schedule.

“In collaboration with the Land & Water Plant team, we were able to maintain our bespoke machinery ensuring there were no delays and the client’s needs were met.

“Chalk rivers are extremely rare and if not preserved correctly through weed cutting, the river channel may choke causing flooding and damage to the local habitat. As part of our commitment to maintaining the UK’s eco-systems, we are very proud to have been part of this project.”

Chalk rivers contain pure water, rich in minerals, that provides a diverse habitat for a range of aquatic plants and animals whilst supplying 70% of the public drinking water supply in South East England.

With a reduced number of these streams worldwide and the preservation of their conditions critically important, TES is committed to enhancing the UK’s waterway’s, creating biodiversity, whilst protecting the habitats of some of the UK’s most beautiful aquatic life.