RSPB Launches ‘Our Rivers’ Campaign

The Our Rivers campaign has recently been launched by the WWF, RSPB, Angling Trust and the Association of Rivers Trusts and is calling on the Government to be more ambitious if it is to deliver the positive change needed to protect Britain’s rivers.

The campaign’s website features an interactive map of the UK’s rivers allowing users to highlight the issues facing their local waterway. It enables people to submit their views and to campaign at a local level.

Supporting the campaign is TV conservationist and RSPB vice president Chris Packham : ‘Our rivers are under pressure from so many sources, yet their health is vitally important to us all. Clean, healthy rivers, teeming with life are what we all want to see and what the Our Rivers campaign is all about.

The Environment Agency (EA) will decide the fate of every river in the country through one of eleven river basin management plans which are currently in public consultation. The plans are a requirement of the Water Framework Directive, which broadly, demands an improvement in the ‘ecological status’ of waters by 2015. Final plans will be signed off by the Secretary of State at the end of the year.

The consultation taking place across the country has been criticised for failing to engage many of those who hold vital information about our rivers: anglers who have fished the same stretch for years, community groups who look after their local river and those who rely on the river for their business.

The launch of Our Rivers aims to address this concern by providing a far more straightforward way for people to pass on their unique local knowledge to the EA. The content of the management plans must be informed by those who know and care about their rivers; those who live and work on them.

The consultation ends on 22 June; comments made on the Our Rivers website will feed directly into the EA consultation.