In 2007 the Upper Dove catchment was designated a priority catchment for the English Catchment Sensitive Farming Delivery Initiative (ECSFDI). This initiative provides advice and funding to farmers to help bring English rivers into favourable condition and meet the conditions of the European Union Water Framework Directive (WFD).
Encouraging farmers to improve water management facilities, and looking to improve riparian habitats, many kilometres of watercourse fencing have been installed. Woody debris and brash revetments have been used to improve in-channel habitat and reduce erosion. This survey has been monitoring the changes of invertebrate populations up and down stream of restoration works, fencing and other works carried out to improve farm facilities supported by ECSFDI grants.
This survey was commissioned to start monitoring the condition of the rivers and their catchment; with particular regard to farm management and river protection and restoration work. The results also include presence/absence of BAP species, bullhead, white claw crayfish and brook lamprey in the catchment. This information will contribute towards Condition Assessments of the SSSI river sections within the catchment.
The ECSFDI will use the data to find the source of diffuse and point source pollution, and further selected surveying would allow for detection of improvement in the rivers based on the work carried out on farms. Initial follow-up investigations in 2010 highlighted specific impact of agricultural pollution indicating the environmental stresses and aquatic conservation priorities to target.
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