Caught by the River

Our Rivers Campaign – Update

7th August 2011

Hi Jeff,

Nik here from the Our Rivers campaign. We’re still here, you’ll be pleased to know, trying to get the Government to stop our rivers becoming polluted, dried up and lifeless. Our big target this year is to influence the upcoming Water White Paper and ensure it tackles the problem of over abstraction head on. We should all be thankful that we live in a country where clean, healthy water is available in our homes, literally on tap. But when that water is being sucked indiscriminately from our rivers with scant regard for the fish, birds, insects and other life that relies on them then you have to wonder what the true cost of it is.

Wow, government white papers, abstraction licensing, household water infrastructure – pretty exciting stuff isn’t it? Well, no, not really. Most people probably think it’s dull as ditchwater (the ditch in question having presumably suffered from diffuse pollution and eutrophication issues).

So we’ve decided to have a bit of fun as well. Caught By the River readers may remember that last year we carried out a public poll to find the best and worst rivers in England and Wales. The Wye was a deserved winner – you can see why here – and the controversial loser was The Thames. Well this year we’re asking people to tell us about their local river, and what wildlife they’ve seen. You’ve probably seen swans and ducks and dragonflies on your local riverbank – but have you spotted a kingfisher or a water vole? Whatever people have seen we really want them to come to and fill in our online survey so we can find out the best riverbanks in the country to see wildlife.

I’m sure your readers have seen some amazing stuff on their riverside ambles and angles and we’d love to hear all about it.

All the best, and keep up the good work, as always!

Nik Shelton
Media Officer