WATER is flowing through a new Dorset chalk stream created as part of a project to restore the county’s alluring network of winterbournes.
Six hundred and fifty metres of land were dug out at Winterborne Herringston about two miles south west of Dorchester.
It’s hoped it will provide a habitat for a rare water crowfoot and invertebrates such as the threatened mayfly Paraleptophlebia werneri and the rare blackfly Simulium latipes.
Brown trout are among the fish expected to use the new stream for spawning in wet winters.
Winterbournes are wild rivers that only flow during wet winters when the land can soak up no more.
They have a lovely lively swing.
The Dorset Wild Rivers project is being co-ordinated by Sarah Williams of Dorset Wildlife Trust. Areas covered include the Frome and Piddle Valleys and the chalk stream tributaries of the Stour, Allen, Tarrant and North Winterbornes.
She said: “Winterbournes are very special, appearing and disappearing quite naturally and providing a rare environment for wildlife.
“With our partners we want to see them flourishing again in their secretive way as part of Dorset’s network of wild chalk rivers.
“We have had previous success on the South Winterbourne at Winterborne Came, with both rare mayflies and blackflies recorded in the first season, so we have great hopes for Winterborne Heringston this spring.”
The Dorset Wild Rivers project is being led by Dorset Wildlife Trust with funding from the Environment Agency and Wessex Water.
Other partners include the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG), Dorset Biodiversity Partnership, the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), Queen Mary University of London, Natural England and Purbeck Heritage Committee.