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Central Rivers Initiative Chairman Vacancy

The Central Rivers Initiative is looking for a new Chairman

The Central Rivers Initiative (CRI) has come a long way since its inception in the late 1990s. Following the recent success of securing a Development Phase grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a Landscape Partnership Scheme called ‘Transforming the Trent Valley’, the current Chairman, Julia Jessel, is stepping down.

We are looking for a new Chairman to lead us in this exciting new phase

The Central Rivers Initiative is a broadly-based partnership representing key interests who are working together to shape and guide the progressive restoration and revitalisation of the river valley between Burton, Lichfield and Tamworth.

The partner organisations aim to create and connect beautiful places where people can explore and enjoy water, landscape and wildlife.

An important step towards this aim is the recent successful grant from HLF. CRI has extended its borders and welcomed new partners to realise a new vision for the Trent Valley.

We are working together to reconnect people with a striking river valley they have ‘turned their backs’ on. A number of culturally and naturally important projects aimed at engaging communities, inspiring visitors, improving access and restoring features will help to transform this important landscape into one that is good for communities, wildlife and the economy.

We are looking for someone who is:

  • Committed to furthering the CRI vision
  • Good at chairing and promoting effective participation by all
  • Skilled in making effective use of resources (time, money, skills)
  • Well-regarded and locally connected to act effectively as an ambassador for CRI
  • Able to network effectively within Staffordshire and regionally for CRI

If you are interested in this role, please download the

You can also find more information about the Central Rivers Initiative (CRI) and the Transforming The Trent Valley (TTTV) Initiatives here


Please contact Louise Morris for more information or find the job details online at or call 01889 880117 for more information.

Applicants must send their CV and a covering letter to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

The closing date for applications is Friday 8th September 2017. Informal interviews will be held at the Wolseley Centre, Wolseley Bridge ST17 0WT

'Transforming the Trent Valley’ Landscape Partnership Scheme – Update

7 November 2016

'Transforming the Trent Valley' secures Heritage Lottery Funding

The striking landscape of the Trent Valley, along with its archaeological and industrial heritage and important wetland habitats, are set to benefit from the first stage of a £3million project.

The first stage of the grant, amounting to £256,300, has been awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to the Central Rivers Initiative as part of its 'Transforming the Trent Valley' partnership project led by Staffordshire Wildlife Trust.

The 18month scheme, which supports the development of a larger proposal to be submitted for approval in 2018 for environmental, cultural and community-led projects, was given approval through its Landscape Partnership programme.

The Transforming the Trent Valley scheme aims to turn people's outlook back to the river and floodplain, raise their level of appreciation for the local heritage, and engage them in constructive and informed decision-making about the future use and management of the landscape.

The Landscape Partnership will undertake a wide range of environmental, cultural and community-led projects within the Trent, Tame and Dove river valleys covering some 190 square kilometres from Uttoxeter to Tamworth and including the river valleys within or near to the main towns of Burton, Rugeley, Lichfield and Derby.

Work over the next 18months will help to shape and define a range of projects. The Partnership will be contacting local heritage groups as well as local communities within the scheme area to take on board their views and aspirations for the Trent Valley and to help inform the design and delivery of the scheme's emerging projects.


30 August 2016

HLF (West Midlands) has visited the proposed Scheme area to meet partners and members of local community groups and to see at first hand some of the proposed projects which form part of the application for HLF funding. The visit enabled the Partnership to explain to HLF in more detail the heritage, people and community issues that the proposed scheme is looking to address. We were also able to emphasise the need for a Landscape Partnership Scheme now in order to build resilient landscapes in the face of increasing development pressure and to take forward opportunities arising from mineral site restoration scheduled over the next 5-10 years for the revitalisation of the landscape and its local communities.

The information and experiences gained from their visit will inform HLF's assessment of the proposed scheme and their decision on the application due in late October 2016.


31 May 2016

The application for the proposed 'Transforming the Trent Valley' Landscape Partnership Scheme has been submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund. A copy of the application and supporting information is available from the downloads section of this website or can be obtained directly from This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

HLF will assess the application in the next four months before it is considered by HLF's Trustees at their meeting in October 2016 for a final decision after which we will be informed whether the application has been successful.

9 May 2016

A final drafting of the application text has been prepared along with detailed costings for the Development and Delivery phases of the proposed LPS which are being compiled and reviewed by the LPS Working Group ready for submission to HLF by the deadline of 1 June 2016.

This submission to HLF will include a report of the public responses to the questionnaire on Survey Monkey. Please record your views about the proposed LPS using the Survey Monkey link if you haven't already done so.

4 April 2016

A local community consultation event will take place at the Village Hall, Barton-Under-Needwood on Tuesday 5 April from 4pm until 8pm.

17 March 2016

A revised vision for the Transforming the Trent Valley Landscape Partnership Scheme was developed at the Partner workshop held on 10 March 2016, as follows:

'Transforming the Trent Valley will celebrate the waterways, industries and the communities that are the life-force of this rapidly evolving river valley landscape and which have shaped and continue to influence its form and use. Wildlife-rich rivers, waterways and wetlands will be at the heart of a re-vitalised, resilient and beautiful landscape that is connected and accessible for local communities and visitors to enjoy and explore as well as providing many opportunities to inspire and re-connect people to the river valley by revealing its cultural, industrial and natural heritage.

8 March 2016

Further local community consultation events will take place on Monday 21 March at Uttoxeter Library between 12noon and 4pm and also on Thursday 24 March at Burton Library between 2pm and 6pm.


2 March 2016

The CRI will be promoting the proposed LPS and seeking local community views on the proposed scheme at the forthcoming Craft Fair to be held at The Wolseley Centre on the weekend of 5 & 6 March.


17 February 2016

A workshop for potential Scheme partners is being hosted by CRI on 10 March 2016 to be held at Whitemoor Lakes Activity Centre. The main purpose of the workshop is firstly to share thinking about the proposed Scheme vision and aims, and secondly to generate project proposals and a commitment from partners to develop and deliver these projects as well as to secure match funding for their delivery. If you think this might be a workshop for you and would like to know more details please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

8 February 2016

Have your say......We would like to know your views about the proposed HLF bid for a Landscape Partnership Scheme and in particular where you think project money should be spent, assuming that the application is successful. Please take a few minutes to complete the on-line survey which is found by using this link:

25 January 2016

The project team is having discussions with Derbyshire County Council and the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust to clarify the extent of the proposed LPS boundary within Derbyshire. The boundary will be determined by the extent of the Landscape Character Type ‘Riverside Meadows’ and by the location of projects that will help achieve the LPS vision.

Proposed Landscape Partnership Scheme

Central Rivers Landscape Partnership Scheme: a proposal for Heritage Lottery funding

The Central Rivers Initiative is proposing to submit an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for funding a Landscape Partnership Scheme that will cover the Central Rivers Initiative area (Tamworth to Burton upon Trent) as well as extensions North West along a section of the River Dove and an extension West along a section of the River Trent. Together the Scheme area covers the river valley landscape that is described as the Trent Valley Washlands Regional Landscape Character Area

Overall Scheme ambition: to revitalise the natural and cultural heritage of the Central Rivers wetland landscape.

Central Rivers area: to cover the Trent Valley Washlands Regional Landscape Character Area including the Trent, Tame and Dove river valleys (area under consideration shown on map below).


The Central Rivers Initiative (CRI) is a long-established partnership that has been working with landowners, mineral companies and local groups to shape the restoration of the river valley landscape between Tamworth and Burton upon Trent.

Given increasing pressures on the river valley for mineral exploitation and land development and changing local community needs and expectations, the CRI Partnership believes the time is right to take the CRI approach to a higher level of partnership working and is seeking HLF funding as a Landscape Partnership Scheme.

Outline scheme proposal:

We have a vision:  “to create and connect beautiful places where people can explore and enjoy water, landscape and wildlife, and to ensure that careful extraction and restoration by the area’s many sand and gravel quarries will leave a sustainable network of wildlife habitats, recreational opportunities and agricultural land.”

We are aiming to develop a project which achieves outcomes for:

  • Natural and Built Heritage eg restoration of wetland habitats and re-naturalisation of our rivers and streams; restoration and interpretation of our built, industrial and cultural heritage associated with canals, rivers and their floodplains.
  • People eg involving local people in research and study of the evolution of the Central Rivers landscape and in the visual presentation of information to show landscape change from palaeo-environments to present day; training and practice in practical management and environmental survey skills.
  • Communities eg development of trails and facilities and web-based information listing opportunities for access for visitors as well as for local people to enjoy and appreciate the river valley landscape and for health and wellbeing benefits; creation of vantage points to help people appreciate the river valley landscape and influence decisions affecting landscape change.

Your input/next steps:

The Partnership will be submitting a bid to HLF at the end of May 2016 for a development grant to develop this proposal in detail.

The Partnership welcomes your input and support for the proposed Central Rivers Landscape Partnership Scheme.  As well as any general comments we would welcome views and suggestions on the following:

  • What localities or features do you believe should form a key focus of the project?
  • What issues of concern to you in the area might be addressed or mitigated by a Landscape Partnership Scheme?
  • Do you have suggestions for projects which could deliver for the 3 main outcomes above (Heritage, People, Communities)? We would be pleased to discuss these with you.

If you wish to comment on our outline proposals, propose projects or are able to confirm your support for the proposed Central Rivers Landscape Partnership Scheme, please submit these by email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or by post to the Central Rivers Initiative Manager at The Wolseley Centre, Wolseley Bridge, Stafford ST17 0WT. 

Bigger and Better - How Minerals Local Plans can help give nature a home at a landscape-scale in the Trent and Tame River Valleys

With a vision for the Trent and Tame River Valleys becoming one of Britain’s greatest wetlands, ‘providing a wetland artery for wildlife from source to sea’, this new publication seeks to influence the developing Minerals Local Plans that cover the Trent and Tame as well as the land-use decisions and management activities of all stakeholders that affect this area.

Bigger and Better highlights the huge scale of opportunity provided by minerals planning and mineral site restoration along the Trent and Tame River Valleys to help realise this vision; a significant part of this opportunity lies within the Central Rivers Initiative. Specifically, it calls for a strategic, co-ordinated and landscape-scale approach to wetland habitat creation through mineral site restoration, across the six relevant Mineral Planning Authority boundaries.

Whilst acknowledging the value of small-scale wetland features to many species, this document promotes the creation of bigger wetlands (>100ha) in order to sustain healthy populations of wetland species; create habitats which are more resilient to climate change; and sites that are likely to attract a variety of newly-colonising species. It also looks to the creation of better wetlands of high quality in terms of design, long-term management and connectivity to other wetland habitats and features.

It is intended that the Bigger and Better document will be referred to in all of the six relevant Minerals Local Plans and will help the Minerals Planning Authorities to set appropriate objectives, policies and supporting text which will enable the delivery of the vision.

The publication of Bigger and Better coincides with the public consultation on The new Minerals Local Plan for Staffordshire (2015–2030), Final Draft-June 2015. This Plan identifies allocations of land in Staffordshire for mineral working and includes planning policies that will be used to determine planning applications for mineral development following the adoption of the new Plan. This consultation presents an important opportunity to ensure that the planning policies within this Plan reflect the advice and approach to minerals planning and restoration contained within Bigger and Better and thereby help to deliver the vision and aims of the Central Rivers Initiative.

Produced by the RSPB, this document is the culmination of discussions with, and is supported by, a number of environmental organisations such as the Wildlife Trusts, Trent Rivers Trust and the Central Rivers Initiative.

Bigger and Better can be accessed from the Downloads section on this website or through the following web link:

Call on the public to help stop the spread of deadly crayfish disease

Members of the public are being called upon to help stop a deadly disease from spreading which is wiping out Britain’s only native crayfish.

Crayfish plague, a fatal fungal disease, has been discovered in one of the few surviving refuges of the threatened White-clawed Crayfish, the River Swarbourn near Yoxall in the Needwood Forest area of East Staffordshire.

The plague can wipe out whole populations in a short period with members of the Central Rivers Initiative appealing to local residents and visitors to the River Swarbourn to help prevent the disease from spreading to other watercourses.

Staffordshire Wildlife Trust’s senior wetlands ecologist, Nick Mott, said, “This is devastating news for our native crayfish. The disease is carried by invasive American signal crayfish and then transferred to our native crayfish via a number of ‘wet pathways’ including direct contact, footwear, animal coats, fishing kit, pond nets or other survey equipment.

As well as being Britain’s only native crayfish, the White-clawed crayfish is an important part of the diets of other wildlife such as otters, birds and fish, so their loss could have severe impacts on the entire wetland ecosystem. The public can really make a difference by following our advice to help stop the disease from spreading, and the future of this species could depend on those efforts.”

To help prevent the further spread of the disease, members of the public are being asked to avoid entering the River Swarbourn for the next few months or until there is confirmation that the disease has died out. The Trust and the Environment Agency have also been liaising with fishing clubs in the area to alert them to the outbreak and to promote additional biosecurity measures such as disinfection routines and careful planning of their fishing trips.

People can also help to stop it returning by removing all mud and plant matter from footwear, pond-dipping nets or anything that has come into contact with water, then washing in clean water at home and drying thoroughly or disinfecting it before using footwear or equipment again in another pond or stream. Dog owners and horse riders can help by keeping their animals out of the water at this sensitive time.

Staffordshire Wildlife Trust is working to protect the remaining populations of White-clawed crayfish in this river and at other stronghold areas in Staffordshire through our SITA Trust-funded crayfish project. For further biosecurity advice, please visit our website:

A leaflet about the White-clawed crayfish, including advice on how to help prevent the spread of the plague can be downloaded from the Trust’s website at You can also pick up a copy from the Trust’s Wolseley Centre HQ on the A51 between Stafford and Rugeley, or request a copy by calling 01889 880100.

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With a vision for the Trent and Tame River Valleys becoming one of Britain’s greatest wetlands, ‘...


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