River Mapping at the Hub: What you said

A big thank you to everyone who participated in activities throughout the Water season at Lewes Climate Hub – especially those who participated in the River Ouse community mapping. Natasha Padbury of Love Our Ouse reports on some of the findings.

Love Our Ouse had a great turn-out for our residency at Lewes Climate Hub in March with 44 people contributing to our community river mapping project to discover what the river Ouse means to local people.

It was really interesting to collate people’s comments. Top highlights include:

  • People recorded 13 species they have spotted with the more unusual ones including White Legged Damselflies, Oystercatchers, Mink and Osprey. There were comments about Otters that used to live on the Ouse and the steep decline of Loach, Bullhead, Sea Trout and coarse fish species
  • Recreational use includes observing nature and the landscape at a combined 31%, boating and kayaking at 23%, picnicking at 23%, and swimming/bridge jumping also at 23%
  • Top concerns for the river are ‘pollution’ and sewage as well as demise of fish species
  • Interest in water quality testing as a solution was our highest taker as a solution.

On Saturday 15 April, our talk about Love Our Ouse and the Rights of River People’s Assembly filled the room! In a lively guided session, people contributed what they would like to see in a charter to protect the Ouse and discussed both the challenges and opportunities in practical terms.

One participant gave us the following positive feedback: ‘I think you and your colleagues did a really great job of creating a forum for participatory democracy where everyone who was present spoke about – and for – the river. The voice of the river was all of us. That was powerful.’

Thanks for everyone who took part in these events. Keep in touch with Love Our Ouse and next steps for the Rights of River charter by liking our Facebook page here  or visiting our website here.