Rivers are an important type of habitat with unique plants and animals. The types of wildlife found within a river are often different depending on the geology that it flows over and the habitats that develop because of that geology. The landscape around a river will have spent thousands or even millions of years being shaped by the flow of water and has often determined where villages and towns have developed.
The Medway Valley Countryside Partnership are located beside the River Medway at Allington lock where the River Medway becomes tidal. The Medway Catchment is one of the largest catchments in Southern England, covering 930sq miles. The catchment has an extensive network of tributaries including the Eden, Teise and Beult. Nearly three quarters of the Medway catchment is protected by landscape designations. The River Beult is classified as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, as a Weald clay dominated river it is one of the few clay rivers in the UK which has retained its characteristic plant communities. The estuary of the River Medway is one of the most important natural wetlands in northern Europe. The catchment has a varied topography and diverse underlying soils and geology, creating high gradient watercourses in the Upper Medway and Teise and very low gradient watercourses in the Beult and Middle Medway.
Protecting the Medway Catchment
We are working to protect, enhance and improve the River Medway and its tributaries. The Medway covers a large area with a wide range of wildlife, habitats and recreational users and is a distinct part of the landscape. We work with Kent High Weald Partnership, Kent Wildlife Trust, South East Rivers Trust and local partners to ensure the health and quality of the river for the future.