What is WILD?

Following a successful pilot stage the WILD Project (Water with Integrated Local Delivery) has received follow up (Phase 2) funding from The Environment Agency to support communities to bring about environmental improvements to rivers and watercourses in the Upper Thames catchment area. This work has also been extended through funding from Thames Water to work with communities in and around Cirencester on the River Churn on grassroots environmental improvements, including measures to control flow and increase water storage capacity. The project is being used as a case study in the European research project, PEGASUS.

GRCC works with the communities to identify and map water-based issues and opportunities in their area. The project lead, FWAG (Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group), works with farmers to survey their agricultural land to define how they could improve practice and benefit from stewardship schemes. Comparing notes between these and other partners e.g. Environment Agency, Cotswold Water Park Trust and Countryside and Community Research Institute (CCRI) - enables common, agreed solutions to be driven forward.

Benefits to communities

By engaging with the project, communities have been able to continue to develop relationships with their riparian landowners/relevant statutory and non-statutory partners and have gained relevant skills and knowledge to enable them to continue to care for their local water environment.

Spreading the word

WILD Project newsletters are circulated and legacy materials from Phase 1 have been distributed to parishes, providing up to date information and analysis of water course issues and opportunities in their area. ACRE's community guides include a publication about the Water Environment which aims to help communities to understand the importance of their water courses and to enable them to devise measures to be prepared for extreme weather without compromising the purity and biodiversity of the local waterways.

Contact us 
To find out more about the WILD Project, call Helen Richards on 01452 528491 or email helenr@grcc.org.uk