Hampshire Avon
Demonstration Test Catchment (DTC) Project

Hampshire Avon Demonstration Test Catchment (DTC) Project
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Fiona Bowles

Fiona Bowles’ interest in aquatic ecology was developed at Loughborough University, where her newly acquired skills in diving led to offers of work on field surveys and then to her first job as a Marine Biologist with Wessex Water Authority. Fiona then quickly moved into fisheries and still water work, advising on lake design and management.

Staying with Wessex Water on privatisation developed Fiona’s experience of both the wastewater and water supply businesses allowing her to focus on her particular interest in their environmental impacts and associated biodiversity. Over the years she has represented Wessex Water on a number of committee’s and research projects at the industry’s organisation Water UK and it’s collaborative research organisation, UKWIR. Examples would include developments of methods for environmental assessment (project and strategy level) and aspects of the Water Framework Directive.

In 2005 Fiona seized the chance to move back to river research, managing Wessex Water’s Low Flow investigation programme. This looked at the effects of abstraction on rivers and wetlands, primarily on the Hampshire Avon, and highlighted the wide range of influences on river ecology, especially in such a heavily managed chalk stream. She now represents the water industry on the National Chalk Stream BAP. Fiona believes strongly in partnerships, working routinely with Natural England, Environment Agency and River Trusts in both research and water company planning. These good relationships have lead to a long involvement in two European funded projects on restoration of the Hampshire Avon and more recently, a strategic review for restoring that river.

Through both her eco-hydrological investigation work and experience with partnered restoration projects and strategies, Fiona is interested in ensuring that the need for channel improvement is not overlooked through lack of funding. She is also keen to ensure that we understand clearly how such restoration meets targets for ecology so as to better obtain funds and prioritise work appropriately.


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