What do we do?

At the Isle of Axholme and North Nottinghamshire Water Level Management Board we strive to enhance the environment through sympathetic management of watercourses and enhancing habitat wherever possible.

By taking this approach we deliver our flood and water level management responsibilities and meet our statutory obligation to conserve and enhance the environment.

How do we do this?

The Board has a policy to undertake all dredging and non-regular maintenance works from a single bank of a watercourse reducing disturbance to wildlife and to enabling the opposite bank to act as a wildlife refuge.

By creating low level berms during reforming works it enhances the extent of the available habitat. We also carefully scrutinise applications for culverting and require the provision of replacement habitat for any approved application that causes losses.

Have we achieved our aim?

A considerable success of our sympathetic approach is readily demonstrated by our thriving water vole population.

A partner with the Wildlife Conservation Partnership in “Operation Barn Owl” we jointly achieved considerable recognition through winning the 2009 Lincolnshire Environmental Award. The barn owl population continues to go from strength to strength.

And more recently, the Board secured grant aid from the DEFRA for the innovative use of TomTom equipment which is used to record water voles and other wildlife together with collecting data on the condition of our water courses and structures to ensure timely maintenance. Many of the watercourses managed by the Board have been designated Local Wild Sites following recent surveys, this demonstrates that flood protection can be delivered while watercourse are managed sympathetically for wildlife.

How do we engage more broadly?

Enthusiastic partners in the Greater Lincolnshire Nature Partnership, and closely involved in the development of the Humberhead Levels Partnership which has secured Nature Improvement Area status, and is currently developing a £2.6 million project for the Isles, Moors & Meadows the Board’s dedicated environmental officer adds value to the sustainable delivery of these high quality environmental schemes and ensures that the environment is significantly enhanced without detriment to the levels of protection afforded by the Boards systems.

The Board is an active partner in the management schemes for the Humber estuary whose wildlife is inextricably linked with the wider landscape of the Board’s district.

Greater Lincolnshire Nature Partnership www.glnp.org.uk

Nature Improvement Area www.ywt.org.uk/what-we-do/creating-living-landscapes-and-living-seas/south/humberhead-levels-partnership

Humber Management Scheme www.humbernature.co.uk

Otter Group

Acknowledgement: Video produced by Lincolnshire Wolds – lincswolds.org.uk/chalk-streams/camera-monitoring