Cowplain to Langstone Harbour stream rejuvenation to encourage wildlife

PLANS Hermitage Stream is to be revitalised
PLANS Hermitage Stream is to be revitalised
James Taylor at his desk in his office at 116 High Street, Old Portsmouth.

Those halcyon days when pen and paper just worked!

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PLANS are under way to revitalise a four-mile stream which was damaged when a housing estate was built.

Hermitage Stream runs from Cowplain through Havant, and out into Langstone Harbour.

In the old days it would have been teeming with wildlife, but the development of hundreds of homes at Leigh Park in the 1950s saw the stream heavily modified with concrete walls and an artificially-straightened channel.

It meant the amount of wildlife living in and around it dropped – and now the Environment Agency wants to put that right and they need the community’s help.

In 2000 work began, with Havant Borough Council, to put it back the way nature intended.

Now a second phase will revitalise the watercourse at Bushy Lease and Park Community School and the public’s views are wanted on the plans.

Louise Forder, the Environment Agency’s fisheries and biodiversity officer, said: ‘We are working with our partners to make a real difference to the Hermitage 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 first event will take place at the Dickinson Centre, Park Community School, Middle Park Way, on Wednesday, from 4pm to 7pm.

This will be followed by a session at Bushy Lease Open Space, off Ramsdale Avenue, on Thursday from 4pm to 7pm. 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.

To submit comments on the plans, email the project team at hermitage@environment-agency.gov.uk

More information can be found at environment-agency.gov.uk/hermitagestream.