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About Hermitage Stream

The Hermitage Stream is a largely urban river in Hampshire, running for approximately 7
kilometres. It has three main headwater streams which rise in Waterlooville, Havant Thicket and Blendworth Common. The three streams converge in Leigh Park and flow South through Havant and out to Langstone Harbour estuary, east of the A3. The estuary has both national and international designations due to its food-rich mudflats and saltmarshes, which support
numerous wildlife species.

The Stream takes its name from a 15th Century Hermitage chapel dedicated to Saint
Christopher & Saint James which stood near Bedhampton level crossing in West Street. Water has been historically important to Havant over the years - parchment making, brewing and watercress all being water dependant.

The Hermitage Stream catchment has undergone significant changes during the past 100 years due to the need to accommodate the extensive urbanisation of housing estates after the Second World War. This included straightening of the channel course during the 1950s-1970s to
alleviate problems with flooding. During the 1990’s the thinking on stream management changed and in 1999 the Environment Agency worked with the Borough Council to restore a stretch of
the stream to a more natural state. Since then water quality has improved as has wildlife along the stream. The restoration work also improved access allowing the local community to once again enjoy this natural asset. The Environment Agency is now currently exploring the possibility of further restoration work along the stream to improve water quality, biodiversity and amenity value.

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