The Environment Agency need to assess whether groundwater is causing damage to any groundwater dependent wetlands in order to protect and improve water, land and biodiversity. Where there are chemical pressures from the groundwater body upon the wetland we may achieve this for example by catchment management measures to reduce diffuse pollution.
The Environment Agency, in collaboration with Natural England and Natural Resources Wales, has undertaken a scoping study to develop a methodology to assess the risk of damage to non-statutory/non-designated groundwater dependent wetlands. The methodology will be of interest to regulators and statutory conservation organisations, Wildlife Trusts, Biological Record Centres and wildlife non-governmental organisations.
The method used to date to assess whether a site is at risk of significant damage has focused on Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs). In this study the method is extended so that it can be applied to non-SSSI groundwater dependent wetland areas at an appropriate point in the future.