The programme will include six distinct water management and environmental conservation projects to help improve water quality, reduce flood risk, store carbon, enhance habitat and biodiversity and improve the health and well-being of local communities.
The work is focused in London and the South East – one of the most water-stressed areas of the country, where the demand for fresh, clean water exceeds the available supply. Additional workstreams include peatland restoration on the Kent coast and rural land management in the North East of England.
Specifically, the three-year programme (2020-2023) will:
- Replenish over 1,600 million litres of water
- Capture or absorb 10 tonnes of carbon per year
- Create at least four major urban wetlands to improve water quality, reduce flood risk, provide a natural habitat for wildlife and for local communities to enjoy
- Create 20 smaller settling wetlands to trap agricultural pollutants
- Restore ancient coastal fen (peat) land
- Improve biodiversity by restoring wildlife habitat on 66 hectares of land for over 30 bird and animal species
- Plant 9,000 trees near Morpeth, Northumberland to lock in carbon, alleviate pollution and reduce local flood risk
- Engage with a range of businesses to better manage water in their supply chains
- Develop a framework for a Catchment Monitoring Cooperative to ignite citizen science and empower local communities by making them part of the decision-making process in their local environment.
Working locally, Thames21, South East Rivers Trust, Northumberland Rivers Trust and Kent Wildlife Trust will be working on the ground to implement a series of these nature-based solutions to improve water quality in their catchments.
The local projects and partners will be:
Thames21 – Creating urban wetlands
- Creating up to 4 wetlands in the London Lea Catchment in partnership with 4 local authorities (Enfield, Waltham Forest, Haringey and Hackney) to replenish up to 1000 million tonnes of water, reduce flood risk for the catchment, connect with the local community and generate greater biodiversity in the area.
- Read more about the Thames21 project
South East Rivers Trust – Wetlands and intercepting road run-off
- With support from Epsom and Ewell Borough Council, the South East Rivers Trust will be aiming to replenish 500 million litres of water, improve biodiversity and enhance habitats surrounding the Hogsmill river by implementing a series of wetlands.
- Additionally, they will be continuing their work on the Beverley Brook, using their Downstream Defender to reduce levels of heavy metals and other urban pollutants associated with road run-off reaching the Brook. The Downstream Defender acts as a centrifugal drum which is lowered into the ground to capture particulate pollutants in urban runoff, thereby protecting the nearby brook.
Northumberland Rivers Trust – planting trees and creating wetlands
- Working in the Wansbeck catchment in Morpeth, Northumberland Rivers Trust will be planting up to 9000 trees, creating twenty small-scale new wetlands to improve water quality and working with local farmers to reduce run-off and reduce flood risk in the catchment.
Kent Wildlife Trust – Ham Fen Peat Restoration
- Working with the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and Canterbury Christchurch University, Kent Wildlife Trust will be continuing their work to restore and enhance Kent’s last remaining ancient semi-natural fenland, Ham Fen Nature Reserve. The project will restore the water table, sequester carbon and improve habitat and species. Read more about Kent Wildlife Trust's Project at Ham Fen Nature Reserve.
Additional projects through The Rivers Trust and CaBA, include:
- Establishing the first UK river-based citizen science network (the Catchment Monitoring Cooperative) to monitor and record water quality of UK rivers.
- Support the Water Stewardship service to encourage further adoption of water stewardship approaches across businesses, government and NGOs.
As well as receiving funding from The Coca-Cola Foundation, the project will be supported by community funding from Coca-Cola European Partners and a minimum of 360 days’ volunteering work from employees at Coca-Cola European Partners and Coca-Cola Great Britain.
This project is a continuation of the original Replenish project with WWF-UK. Read more about the partnership with WWF-UK here.