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AONB: Isle of Wight

Wetland Restoration

8km of the Isle of Wight’s longest river, the Yar have been restored and managed through work led by the AONB team.The project aimed to bring the 8km of the river and its wider catchment into conservation management through land acquisition, habitat management, habitat restoration and community engagement.

Alverstone Marshes SSSI was restored by the removal of willow scrub, fencing and the introduction of grazing; fish easements were constructed in the river bed to help fish migration from estuary to headwaters; a farmer cluster was established with CS Facilitation Fund to engage ten farmers in the wider catchment; land was acquired to extend a nature reserve to connect the 8km restoration scheme together; populations of non-native plants were reduced by targeted management; access improvements and the river is celebrated by an annual ‘All Along the Riverbank’ festival involving all partners and attracting an audience of 3,000 on May Bank holiday.

The eastern Yar is the longest river on the Isle of Wight, with its catchment covering one third of the Island’s land surface. It is the largest river in the England with a water vole population undisturbed by feral mink and therefore a stronghold for this declining mammal species.