The Environment Agency is seeking views from the local communities and partner organisations on a proposed project that will breathe new life into an environmentally damaged Hampshire stream.
Hampshire’s Becton Bunny stream runs for just over 2km from its source in New Milton through Barton on Sea before discharging to Christchurch Harbour. In the past, the stream was heavily modified with reinforced banks and an artificially straightened channel. As a result of these historical changes, there is an increased flood risk to the area and the waterway does not have wildlife living in and around it as it should have.
The proposed project, in partnership with New Forest National Park Authority and New Milton Town Council, will restore sections of the stream back to its natural course. This work will improve the stream for wildlife and the local community whilst reducing flood risk. The first sections to be tackled will be Long Meadow, Mitchell Close and Willow Walk.
Members of the public and interested groups are invited to hear more about the proposed project at a public exhibition this month. The Environment Agency project team will be on hand at the event to share information and answer any questions on the plans.
The event will take place at the Scout Hut, Long Meadow, Barton on Sea on Saturday 24 August from 10am to 5pm.
Rebecca Long, Environment Agency Project Officer, said: “We are working with our partners to make a real difference to the Becton Bunny stream to achieve the best possible outcomes for the river, wildlife and the local community.
“That’s why we need input from local residents and interested groups to help us shape our proposals and we hope to receive as many comments as possible. We encourage people to come along to the sessions to talk with us about the proposals and share their views.”
The proposed improvements, subject to funding being secured for construction, will also help the stream to achieve its European water quality targets under the Water Framework Directive.
More information can be found on the Environment Agency website at: