What We Do – Arun & Rother Rivers Trust

What We Do

Catchment Management

The Arun & Rother Rivers Trust recognises that working towards our vision requires a multi-disciplinary and collaborative approach. We work closely with partners throughout the Arun and Western Streams catchment, including Environmental NGOs, Water Companies, Local Authorities, Government Agencies, Landowners, Angling Clubs, Farmers and Local Businesses. Focussing on partnership working, we are delivering and continuing to develop projects with partners and local communities that delivers maximum benefit to the ARRT catchment as a whole.

Catchment Based Approach (CaBA)

The Catchment Based Approach (CaBA) is an inclusive, community-led initiative that works in partnership with Government, Local Authorities, Water Companies, businesses and more, to maximise the natural value of our environment.
CaBA partnerships are actively working in all 100+ river catchments across England and cross-border with Wales, directly supporting achievement of many of the targets under the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan.

What is the Catchment Based Approach?

From the source of our rivers to the sea, across our towns, cities, countryside and coasts – a healthy water environment is essential to all of us. It provides us with the water we need to live and to run our businesses efficiently. It reduces the risk to our homes and livelihoods of flooding. A healthy water environment means better places to live, where people and wildlife flourish. In the past, management of the water environment has fallen to Government, to private companies and to landowners, often operating in isolation.
The Catchment Based Approach (CaBA) embeds collaborative working at a river catchment scale, delivering a range of environmental, social and economic benefits and protecting our precious water environments for the benefit of us all.



ARRT is the host for the Arun & Western Streams Partnership, bringing together a diverse range of partners and sectors with local knowledge and expertise.
Arun & Western Streams Partnership

Our vision is for a healthy river system where all interested sectors, groups or individuals may contribute towards restoring the natural environment to benefit people and wildlife now and in the future.
The aims of the Arun and Western Streams Catchment Partnership are to:

  • Reach a shared understanding of the catchment’s priorities
  • Facilitate delivery of the Catchment Plan
  • Promote a community led integrated catchment based approach to improving the water environment.



ARRT offers a range of help and support to improve our local rivers. We also engage with a wide range of local people and organisations about the river and its special places and problems. Get in touch if we can help!

Farmers Groups

ARRT is actively engaged in supporting local farmers to work collaboratively to deliver environmental gains that benefit both private farm enterprise and wider environmental resources that underpin a healthy and resilient future for us all; in terms of fresh air, vibrant water resources and rivers, thriving wildlife and options to better tackle the impacts of enhanced climate change.
We have set up and facilitated the Rother Valley Farmers Group (See below) and are engaging with farmers on the recently formed Upper Arun farmers group.

Rother Valley Farmers Group (RVFG)

The ARRT was successful in its bid to Natural England to set up a farmers group along the Rother valley, via the Countryside Stewardship Facilitation Farm fund. The funding commenced in 2018 for a period of three years, recently ending in Summer 2021. The RVFG was jointly facilitated by ARRT project officer and environmental consultant. The farmers group started with the recruitment of just over 30 interested farmers which has grown to a membership of 53, covering approx’ 11,200 hectares of the Rother valley.

It is estimated this represents approx’ 65% of the actively farmed area along the river Rother. More information on the wide number of workshops, training events and engagement delivered over the period 2018-2021 can be found in the RVFG Annual Reports. The Countryside Stewardship Facilitation Funding has come to an end, and the group moves onto its next chapter, it is anticipated that the RVFG will continue to evolve and attract further funding to enable the group to continue for the long term.

Monitoring & Surveying

ARRT undertakes a range of river monitoring and surveys across the Arun & Western Streams catchment area, including assessing habitat and water quality, looking for invasive non-native species and identifying sources of pollution and erosion. So far we have conducted surveys of more than 50km of rivers and streams. We help run the Rother Riverfly scheme using citizen science volunteers too.

Upper Arun River Revival Survey

Western Rother upstream of Petersfield Survey


Together with the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) we facilitate Riverfly monitoring of the Rother and in time plan to expand this across the ARRT catchment. This work complements a wider ARRT objective to engage and assist more volunteers to record/monitor the health of the river through ecological surveying. If you would like to get involved in protecting your local river and have a couple of hours a month to spare then you could become one of our Riverfly Monitors.

Monitors sample river invertebrates once a month (from spring to autumn) to help us keep an eye on water quality and river health as part of the national Anglers’ Riverfly Monitoring Initiative. Volunteers are required to attend a free Riverfly training day before starting their monitoring to learn how to sample and identify the river flies.

All monitoring equipment is kindly provided free by the SDNPA. To find out more please contact ARRT and complete a VOLUNTEER FORM. Further information about the Riverfly Monitoring Initiative can be found below.