About the Arun & Rother Rivers Trust

Rivers Trusts are charities which operate on a catchment basis throughout the UK. They are community driven initiatives to look after local rivers and their areas. Started by local people who care about the environment, they concentrate on practical improvements. Arun & Rother Rivers Trust (ARRT) is one of the latest of these independent organisations working for the public benefit. We are a non profit organisation overseen by a board of TRUSTEES who have a wide range of experience and varying interests.dragonfly

Our focus is on Education, Fisheries, Biodiversity and Habitat, Access, Pollution and other issues. Of major concern are the effects of abstraction and drought, as well as man-made obstructions and increased pressure on land through building development. All of these can have a major impact on our rivers and the wildlife they support.

Our two main rivers, the Arun and the Western Rother, flow through some of the most picturesque countryside in the South of England. The Arun from its source near Horsham runs south to Pulborough (Stopham Bridge) where it is joined by the Rother which has its origins in Hampshire. These two rivers now become one, the tidal Arun, and continue flowing south, cutting through the chalk above Arundel, until they enter the sea at Littlehampton.
Our catchment also includes the rivers flowing south from the Downs towards Chichester and the coast. Please take a look at the catchment maps in our LIBRARY for details. Anglers are probably the largest group who use the river for recreation. There are numerous angling clubs and associations whose members are often to be seen on the banks. Any pollution, or obstructions that affect the welfare of the numerous varieties of fish that inhabit the rivers, is of major importance. Please check out our LINKS page for a list of angling clubs, and if your club isn’t there please let us know – we want to hear from you!

Likewise bird lovers are attracted to the ever changing comings and goings that take place throughout the year so access is important to this increasing group of enthusiasts. Small boats and canoes, better suited to the tidal Arun, need safe and agreed launching places. There are also those who just like to walk along the riverbanks and enjoy all they have to offer. All are part of a community that enjoys and benefits from having these wonderful rivers close by.

dairyOf course our rivers are vital for business too, particularly for farmers. Dairy cows, beef animals and sheep all need the lush summer grazing and winter silage and hay from the river valleys, whilst the Rother valley and the Chichester Plain are important for salad crops, potatoes, glasshouse production and horticulture. If we really value local food then farmers and growers need water too. Finally, let’s not forget all the people who live here: more than 400,000 people, over half the population of West Sussex, live in the catchment, and they all need clean water supplied to their houses and sewage taken away, so the water companies are very important to the health of our rivers and their environment. Our principal water company here is Southern Water, but Portsmouth Water supply the lower part of the catchment around Chichester where they have formed the Downs & Harbours Clean Water Partnership.