Itchen Valley Living Landscape

Itchen Navigation Heritage Trail Project cpt Hampshire and Isle of Wight WTItchen Navigation Heritage Trail Project cpt Hampshire and Isle of Wight WT

the scheme promises enormous socio-economic benefits

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust

The River Itchen Valley, running past the historic city of Winchester, is a living example of Hampshire's historical and agricultural heritage. It provides walking access between Winchester, Eastleigh and Southampton, is an important local water resource and supports a range of wildlife.

The Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust’s vision is to restore and reconnect over 66 hectares of floodplain grazing marsh, fen, reedbed and wet woodland at Winnall Moors nature reserve, in addition to key areas along over 20 kilometres of the 300 year-old Itchen Navigation.

With nearly half a million people living locally, the scheme promises enormous socio-economic benefits, including improved health and wellbeing and increased awareness of the landscape’s history and value. At the heart of the scheme is a large body of local volunteers. The restoration will also provide crucial ecosystem services, due to the improved water storage potential of the Itchen’s wetland systems. In addition to carbon capture in peat, this will secure mitigation against flooding and better resources for drinking water.

What’s happening?

We have:

  • Restored more than 2 kilometres of  river banks
  • Improved more than 3 kilometres  of footpaths
  • Logged over 1,000 days of volunteering from over 200 volunteers
  • Preserved three nationally significant locks/hatches
  • Installed 15 new interpretation panels
  • Run a community arts project engaging 3,000 local people in Itchen-inspired events, workshops and activities (Itchen Navigation Arts Project)
  • Worked directly with 30 different landowners and river managers

Start date: 2008

Trust reserves within the scheme

Winnall Moors and St Catherine's Hill

This scheme is helping species including...

Wading birds such as snipe and rare invertebrates such as Desmoulin’s whorl snail; southern damselfly, salmon, water vole and otter.

Current threats to the landscape

Failure of river banks, poaching, garden encroachment, development, urbanisation and recreational pressure

This scheme is also...

Helping wildlife adapt to climate change, improving water quality, reducing flood risk, storing carbon, improving access for people, providing health benefits, volunteering opportunities, skills training and environmental education


Natural England, Environment Agency, Local Authorities, Inland Waterways Association

To find out more

Email: | Tel: 01489 774400 | Itchen Navigation

Living Landscapes

Find out more about our Living Landscape conservation work - targeting areas for landscape-scale nature conservation  and transforming places for people and wildlife.

Farming & wildlife

Find out more about our farmland conservation work with farmers and landowners, and on our own wildlife-friendly demonstration farms.