South West Lakes Trust and South West Water SSSI Programme


Regional charity South West Lakes Trust have recently employed a Natural Environment Officer to take the lead on a joint South West Lakes Trust and South West Water programme focussing on Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

The key objective of James’ role is to maintain or change the existing condition of the important SSSI habitats within South West Water’s ownership at Crowdy Marsh, Countess Wear, Lopwell Dam and Dendles into favourable conservation status by 2020 and help achieve South West Water’s goal of ensuring that 100% of its SSSIs are in favourable condition by 2020.

David Smith, South West Water’s Upstream Thinking Programme Manager, said: “This work will benefit water, wildlife and people and I’m delighted James is joining us to focus on these important land holdings.”
Since graduating with a degree in Ecology in 2004, James Parkin has extensive environmental experience having worked for Falmouth Marine School, Somerset Environmental Records Centre, the Environmental Consultancy, ADAS, Dorset Wildlife Trust and Chichester Harbour Conservancy.

This programme will involve revising the management plans for each of the sites, taking account of existing wildlife interest, how this is maintained and faring currently and gaining an understanding of access and recreation. This will be done in liaison with key stakeholders that have an involvement with the sites.
Targeted habitat management on the ground will be implemented in order to maintain and restore important habitats that will have benefits for a range of wildlife. An initial phase will involve the Exmoor Mire Partnership restoring the condition of the mire habitat at Crowdy Marsh by slowing the flow of water into the Crowdy Reservoir. As well as benefiting wildlife such as wading birds and plants, this will benefit water quality, help to build peat and reduce the risk of it drying out in summer.
For more information contact James Parkin via email or call 01566 771930.