Catchwater Drain 21
Grid Ref: SK951702 - SK969695
Status:     Site of Nature Conservation Importance (Lincolnshire Trust)    

The Catchwater Drain is an area of open water with marginal vegetation that runs from the city boundary in the west and connects with the Witham at Boultham. It has been designated as Critical Natural Asset for the following reasons.

1) The site supports wetland habitat types (linear site hence area unquantified).   The site is one of 13 wetland sites in Lincoln.   Bankside vegetation is indicative of acid grassland, supporting species such as broom Cytisus scoparius and bracken Reridium aquilinum.  Aquatic vegetation occurs along all its length, although there are areas where the vegetation becomes rank, particularly as the drain travels through Boultham. Species recorded include reeds Phragmites australis, bullrush Typha latifolia, yellow flag Iris pseudacorus and soft rush Juncus effusus.

2) The site is an important wildlife corridor allowing movement from the Hartsholme/Swanpool Green Wedge to the Witham Valley Green Wedge. It is the only wildlife site that allows movement between these ecologically important areas.

3) The site supports the following rare and endangered species.
Water vole    Arvicola terrestris
Water vole populations have suffered a major decline in many parts of Britain. Loss of undisturbed riverside habitat is probably the major cause. There is evidence of a decline in the Lincolnshire population, and the species remains vulnerable. The water vole is listed in the UK Biodiversity Steering Group report, and a national action plan is being prepared to assist its recovery.

Landscape Value
Attractive linear feature often within or abutting built up areas and linking these to more substantial open areas.
Important contribution to the West Lincoln Green Wedge and to "Long Views" into and out of the city where it traverses strategic open space to be safeguarded within the proposed Skewbridge development.