River Char Community Project
For most of their journey to the sea, the River Char and its tributaries flow through the parishes of Wootton and Whitchurch. So, in autumn 2019, Char Valley Parish Council (which includes these parishes) met members of the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) teams to discuss how start to make changes and improvements.
This followed a successful community project led by the same teams on the River Asker. At their suggestion, we applied for funding for our own River Char Community Project and we heard in December that we had received a full grant of £1,350 from the Dorset AONB 60th Anniversary Fund and the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Our Parish Council will contribute a further £750 in cash and councillors time.
In Phase 1 of this Community Project (to be completed by October 2020), we will use the money to pay for a snapshot study of the River Char to get a picture of the health of the river, identify problems and draw up an improvement plan. In Phase 2 (which will need significantly more funding) we will implement the plan, which is likely to involve working with experts, volunteers and residents to do some of the following:
Above: John Blanchard's map of the River Char Catchment