Natural Course – our progress so far…

Over two years ago the Natural Course project began its 10-year journey on the EU LIFE funded project.

Since starting the project in October 2015, a few highlights include hosting a Water Platform event and supporting the GM Natural Capital Group Annual Conference, planting 12,000 trees, surveying 40km of urban river for bird life in the Irwell Catchment, facilitating 7 farmer groups to look at water quality, as well as mapping Natural Flood Management opportunities for three Cumbrian catchments, the Irwell catchment and the Mersey catchment.

Nick Hopwood, Natural Course Natural Course Project Manager from the Environment Agency, said:

“Over 10-years the project will build capacity to protect and improve the North West water environment. In just over a year, the project already made huge strides in taking this forward. Working with organisations from so many varied sectors was always going to be challenging but we have made some great progress and continue to learn a great deal from each other.

“We could never achieve this alone and working in partnership is crucial to the success of the project. For example, across Greater Manchester, the project has enabled GMCA to include water quality issues within major strategic documents, such as the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework, and United Utilities are using their learnings from the project to inform their PR19 business plan, which is set to be submitted to Ofwat in late 2018.”

Moving forward into phase two, the locations of two of the Defra Pioneers have been identified within the footprint of the project and will offer great opportunities for shared learning in the future of the project.

Take a look at the Natural Course Infographic below detailing the project achievements from October 2015 – March 2017.