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The Bourne Stream Partnership 2000-2007

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Progress Reports

The Partnership has achieved many of its strategic objectives since its set-up in 2000.

In retrospect there have been two distinct phases; for the first three years the partnership was led by a senior member of staff at the Environment Agency, Neil Smith.  Neil was based in Blandford and had his regular workload to deal with, which makes the early successes even more significant.

It gradually became apparent, however, that a great deal more time and effort would be required to progress many of the proposed projects, and it was the appointment of a full-time Project Officer in April 2003 that resulted in the majority of work undertaken. 

Some of the Partnership's successes are briefly described below; it's amazing what can be achieved by working in partnership!

An Annual Report (file size 390kb) was prepared in October 2004 for circulation to Partners, potential funding sources and other stakeholders.  It describes Partnership achievements and finances 2000-2004, and looks forward to 2005/2006.

Printed copies have been lodged with Poole Central Library, Bournemouth Central Library and the new Rossmore Library, Herbert Avenue.

Led by the Environment Agency, chaired by Sembcorp Bournemouth Water

March 2000 – Sustainable Drainage System (SUDS) Phase I.  A series of five on-line lagoons of varying depths covering approx. 1 hectare, installed in the upper reaches of the catchment within Bourne Valley Nature Reserve (SSSI, SPA, SAC, Ramsar site).  Project funded by English Nature and Borough of Poole.

March 2001 – SUDS Phase II.  A shallow wetland (approx. 2500m2) constructed off-line and a short way upstream of Phase I.   Project funded by Borough of Poole.

March 2002 – An Environment Agency-led SUDS workshop for Poole and Bournemouth local authority planners and other delegates.  Both local authorities have subsequently issued supplementary planning guidance on the use of SUDS.  Partnership funded.

April 2002 Operation Streamclean, addressing grey- & black-water misconnections throughout the catchment, launched & funded by Wessex Water.

May 2002 – Public consultation for SUDS Phase III, to be created in historic public gardens at Coy Pond Gardens, at the Bournemouth/Poole boundary.  Partnership funded.

July 2002 Use Water Wisely campaign to local residents, led by Sembcorp Bournemouth Water (then known as Bournemouth and West Hampshire Water).  Project funded by Sembcorp and the Partnership.

Led by the Project Officer, chaired by Sembcorp Bournemouth Water

April 2003 – full-time Project Officer joins the partnership; Sarah Austin has a Masters Degree in Coastal Zone Management from Bournemouth University.

May 2003 - the partnership website goes online - at that time it was hosted by Sembcorp Bournemouth Water.  On an average month we record in excess of 4,000 visits to the site.  

August 2003 - reinstatement of the pond at Scott Road included cutting back trees for improved public access.  A large area of pond silt and vegetation was also cleared to improve aquatic wildlife habitat for amphibians and several species of dragonfly.  Project funded by English Nature.

September 2003 - SUDS Phase IV, re-engineering of the streambed and banks, and diverting flow to the reedbed at the inlet of the pond at Alder Road.  Project funded by Borough of Poole.

September also saw the first of our Yellow Fish drain stencilling campaigns - that's an education & awareness project involving local school children and highlighting the connection between surface water drains and stream/sea water quality.  Project funded by the national Oil Care Campaign.

Later in the month Sarah attended the Labour Party Conference held at the BIC, Bournemouth; there she was introduced to Cherie Blair and had the chance to describe the partnership's work, and the Yellow Fish campaign particularly.

November 2003 - SUDS Phase III, Coy Pond Gardens.  A terraced floodbasin and detention facility comprising two small, shallow on-line ponds, re-engineered streambed and banks,  and control structure within a new bridge.   Opened by Poole’s Mayor April 2004.  Project funded by SITA Environmental Trust and the Partnership.

May 2004 - BSP worked with Greenlink to launch the new Bourne Valley Greenway (6.5km walk & cycle route) with a family fun day on 2nd May, involving local businesses, community and nature conservation groups, and the local police and fire service in providing activities along the route.  320-plus participants.  Project funded by Greenlink, the Partnership and local contributions.

June 2004 Yellow Fish drain stencilling campaign #2 – with local home educators and their children. Project funded by Bournemouth Oceanarium.

August 2004 - a user survey was carried out in Bournemouth Upper Gardens over a 3-day period, to gauge people's attitudes to this popular public space, and their responses to various suggestions for water quality improvement work.

Summer 2004 – BSP collaborated with Poole Arts Council and Poole & East Dorset Arts Society on an ‘Art Pro Loco’ (Art of the Place) project; local artists, photographers and poets produced works inspired by the stream and new Bourne Valley Greenway which were then exhibited locally in September.

December 2004 - the partial dredging of Coy Pond is a success; between September 2005 and December 2006 we returned to clear the island of rhododendron for access which enabled us to tackle a larger section of the pond.  We laid timber supports for the island and planted a wide range of native, wildlife-friendly species.

Summer 2005 - we made a start on the most extensive project undertaken by the partnership at Alderney Recreation Ground (since renamed Bourne Valley Park).

August 2006 - Operation Streamclean (Wessex Water) worked closely with BSP, the Environment Agency and residents to identify & cure two major causes of pollution to the Bourne stream in a matter of weeks (more)

September 2006 - BSP Project Officer funding comes to an end and Sarah is employed by Borough of Poole Leisure Services which allows her to continue work in the Bourne Valley and, importantly, on the project at Bourne Valley Park.  The partnership does not disband; good working relationships have developed and partners will continue to work together and to lobby for local environmental action as-and-when necessary.

September 2007 - the Bourne Valley Park project is completed.

Monitoring 2003/2004 - BSP has monitored stream water quality since 2001; a full stream water quality and local rainfall data set has been compiled and is available online, including analysis of SUDS performance.  The data has been incorporated into a national 'best practise' study by HR Wallingford Rivers & Urban Catchments Group (yet to be published).

Student Placements – BSP have worked closely with both undergraduate and postgraduate students from Bournemouth and Southampton Universities and, most recently, the University of West England.  Fourteen student placements were hosted by the partnership.  Dissertations are published on the web site and can be downloaded from here.

In 2004 a separate work experience project was also organised for a group of ‘Travel & Tourism in Action’ students from Bournemouth & Poole College of Higher Education., based around the Bourne Valley Greenway.  The Greenway has also featured in a booklet produced by ITV's Britain on the Move campaign & South West Tourism.  25 Scenic Short Walks Guide 2005/2006 can be ordered free of charge from www.naturesouthwest.co.uk.

National/Industry awareness – Since 2003 Partnership research, outputs and outcomes have been communicated through presentations to national SUDS and diffuse pollution conferences.  Articles have been published in:

  • CIRIA1 Sustainable Drainage News July 2003 (available as pdf).

  • Oil Care Campaign Newsletter, February 2004 (available as pdf).

  • IWA2 Diffuse Pollution Group Newsletter July 2004 (available as pdf - see page 19).

  • Local Government Association (LGA) Water Management Vision and Case Studies document, October 2005 (available as pdf, see page 4).

In October 2004 a researcher from the Public Affairs Unit of the UK Office of the European Parliament in London made contact with us.  They were attracted to our projects in a search for a 'significant story' that demonstrates how European environmental legislation is enacted on the ground, making a difference to people and places.  The relevant legislation in this case is the European Bathing Waters Directive, and our projects featured in the Public Affairs Unit's information campaign.

In April 2005 the Partnership hosted a meeting of the new SUDSnet group at Bournemouth University, when delegates had a chance to see and hear at first hand about our SUDS design and performance.  See what they have to say in SUDSnet News (Issue 2, June 2005,pdf) and CIRIA Sustainable Drainage News (Issue 8, August 2005).

In March 2006 Defra published a Scoping Study report on its Integrated Urban Drainage pilot scheme - and the Bourne Stream Partnership work is featured as a case study on page 117 (follow this link, pdf 2.7MB).

Local awareness – The partnership message is communicated within and beyond the immediate locale through presentations to, and activities with schools & youth centres, community groups, nature conservation and heritage groups.

BSP work closely with the Friends of Coy Pond group and have worked with the two local councils to form two further ‘Friends of’ groups in areas of proposed partnership working (Alderney Recreation Ground and Bournemouth Upper Gardens).

The production & distribution of promotional material together with support from the local media ensure that residents are kept up-to-date with partnership activities and achievements.

A 2003 Bournemouth University student project found local public awareness of the partnership and its work rose from 20% (summer 2002) to 44% (summer 2003).


  1. CIRIA - Construction Industry Research & Information Association

  2. IWA - International Water Association

  3. CIWEM - Chartered Institution of Water & Environmental Management

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