Restoring the River Bure in Norfolk

A foot bridge over a stream at sunset

We're embarking on our biggest river restoration project to date.

We rely on rivers for so much, but currently only 14% of England’s river catchments are in good health. So, we're setting out to reverse this trend through our "Riverlands" project. Working with the Environment Agency, we’ll be reviving five of the UK’s most precious rivers, including the River Bure in Norfolk.

Why the River Bure is special

There are just over 200 chalk-stream rivers around the world and the River Bure is one of them. Because there are so few of them, it makes the Bure all the more special. 

They are arguably some of our most beautiful rivers too when they’re healthy, with crystal-clear water from underground chalk springs making them the perfect sources of clean water and ideal habitats in which wildlife can thrive, which is why we need to protect them.

Rising in Melton Constable and passing through both the National Trust's Blickling and Felbrigg estates, the River Bure flows into the internationally important Norfolk Broads, which is Britain’s largest designated wetland and a haven for wildlife. 

Historically this river has supported life in the catchment by providing fertile land for farming, water meadows for grazing, power for milling and fisheries for commercial and recreational exploitation. Over time this has reduced the health of the river and the landscape it supports.

Rivers like this one need our help and we need to think long term if we’re really going to make a difference. We all have a role to play, right back to the rivers source. 

What will we be doing?
A kingfisher fishing from its perch

Our pledge to nature

We want our rivers and catchments to be healthy, clean and rich in wildlife. Working with our partners, local landowners and tenants, we’ll be looking to improve water quality and habitats along the river. This will help ease passage for fish and protect endangered species such as the water vole and eel.

A river that's loved and valued by all

Water is an essential part of our daily lives, but it’s good for our health and wellbeing too. With this in mind, we’re looking to improve access to the River Bure so that more people can love and value its heritage and natural beauty, which can significantly affect the way we feel.

Building a better future

Intensive agriculture, development pressures and the effects of climate change all take their toll on rivers. As a result 13% of freshwater and wetland species are now threatened with extinction from Britain. The more we understand the role that rivers play in our lives, the more we’ll care for them in the long term. 

Latest updates

03 May 21

Scarrow Beck restoration underway

This month we started a project to restore the Scarrow Beck . Funded by a Water Environment Grant we are working to re-profile the banks, creating more ‘edge’ habitat for wildlife, add gravels into the river to benefit fish and invertebrate populations and create floodplain wetlands, scrapes and ponds.

Scarrow Beck restoration

19 Apr 21

Stream Sleuths

As restrictions eased we were back in the river for the long-awaited launch of our Stream Sleuths a project using eDNA to determine shared catchment actions and funded by a UKRI Citizen Science Exploration Grant.

A team of River Sleuths

30 Mar 20

Mannington stream restoration

Before we entered the first lock-down we managed to complete the first phase of our Water Environment Grant funded works at Mannington Hall as well as restoring some ponds at the coast. In response to covid-19 our team was furloughed over most of the summer, meaning much of our planned works have been pushed into 2021.

Mannington stream