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Place your vote to help local Rivers Trusts win funding

Voting has opened for the Aviva Community Fund – a community fund that will finance over 800 projects across UK.
Two Rivers Trusts are bidding for funding: South East Rivers Trust and Lincolnshire Rivers Trust.

The Wandle Trust, part of South East Rivers Trust, are looking to fund their famous Wandle Cleanups. The funding would pay for equipment including river waders, gloves, wheelbarrows, as well as recruit and train event supervisors who help to organise the cleanup events.

Polly Bryant from South East Rivers Trust , said: “these clean-ups make a huge difference to our rivers and in 2015 alone, we cleared up 33 tonnes of rubbish, clearing 6.6km of the Wandle.

“Without this support, we would struggle to keep running these events, please vote for us and help us make a positive difference for south London’s very own urban chalkstream”.

Lincolnshire Rivers Trust is looking to use the money to fund their Mayfly in the River project, which gives primary school students an opportunity to engage with river life. The project funding would provide transport for the children to get to the rivers and support the practical education programme.

Marie Taylor from Lincolnshire Rivers Trust said: “Our Mayfly in the Classroom project is a real hands-on approach to education, the children would visit the river and catch Maylfy and take them back to the classroom. Here they will learn how to look after them and watch the nymphs transform into beautiful Mayflies.”

“Voting for this project will give the children, who aren’t usually in close proximity to a river, the opportunity to really bring the river to life, whilst supporting curriculum subjects in biology, literacy, numeracy and art.”

Voting closes 18th November. Anyone can vote, whether you are an Aviva Customer or not, all you need to do is register on the website to collect your 10 votes.

To support The Wandle Trust visit:

To support Lincolnshire Rivers Trust, visit:

EU funding secured for partnership initiative to increase flood resilience
The Rivers Trust, in partnership with the National Flood Forum, are leading a new 3year project to help increase the resilience of communities and infrastructure against flood risk

On 29th September 2016, the EU Interreg North Sea Region programme gave the green light for the ‘Flood Resilient Areas by Multi-layEr Safety approach’ (FRAMES) – an €8 million project which will be 50% co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund. Working at EU level, The Rivers Trust will join organisations from Belgium, Denmark, Germany and The Netherlands to reduce the consequences of flooding and help prepare communities for climate change, by increasing the resilience of infrastructure and advise policy recommendations to reduce recovery times after a flood.

As global warming takes shape, Europe could see increased rainfall and higher water levels in our local rivers. Working at EU level is essential to the success of the project, with the consequences of climate change and floods exceeding regional and national borders. If flood defenses are breached, this could lead to increased risks to life, property and infrastructure.

FRAMES is made up of 13 pilot projects which will directly involve inhabitants, authorities and other stakeholders, and advise on local, regional, national and international policies for authorities and organisations in the North Sea Region.

Local rivers trusts working on the project will be: Tees Rivers Trust, Trent Rivers Trust and South East Rivers Trust, who will be working directly with the National Flood Forum, to increase catchment resilience to flooding through natural flood risk management and community resilience measures. This integrated approach to non-traditional flood risk management will improve our knowledge of the role of civil society in flood risk management and improve our understanding of their effectiveness.

Alistair Maltby, Operations Director for The Rivers Trust said: “As our risk from flooding increases due to climate change, we need to take a much more diverse and integrated approach to flood risk management than ever before. This will include making our landscape more suitable for high levels of water, and helping communities to protect their own property.

“Civil society, such as rivers trusts and local flood action groups, will need to play a more formal role in implementing these non-traditional measures, and this project will give The Rivers Trust and National Flood Forum the experience to support government in these new approaches”.

Paul Cobbing, Chief Executive of the National Flood Forum said: “This country has seen major flood events almost every year since 2000.  No longer can these floods be described as unprecedented.  The reality of climate change, a growing population and increased demand for housing means that more communities are going to be at risk of flooding in the future.  But that’s not to say we can’t take action now to help people understand and reduce their flood risk.  There’s a need for a society-wide approach to flood risk management and we know that community involvement is very often the key to success.”

Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust and Fish Legal, presenting the Brexit report to Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom at the Conservative Party Conference

Angling and Fisheries organisations call on Ministers not to throw out the environmental baby in the Brexit bathwater.

The UK’s major angling and fisheries conservation groups have today published a joint paper setting out their concerns over any moves to water down EU environmental legislation and urging the government to seize opportunities for reform of policies regarding farm subsidies and fisheries management in the wake of the Brexit vote earlier this year.

  The paper - BREXIT, FISHERIES AND THE WATER ENVIRONMENT – has been jointly produced by the Angling Trust & Fish Legal, Atlantic Salmon Trust, The Rivers Trust, Countryside Alliance, Salmon & Trout Conservation UK and the Wild Trout Trust. It was formally presented (pictured) to Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom at this week’s Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham by Angling Trust & Fish Legal Chief Executive Mark Lloyd.

Three quarters of rivers in the UK are failing to reach good ecological status and much of this is down, not to industrial pollution, but to poor agricultural practices in their catchments.  Many marine fish stocks are threatened as a result of commercial over-fishing.
The groups argue that whilst there is an urgent need to reform the wasteful and environmentally damaging system of agricultural subsidies much of the improvement that has occurred in our natural environment has been underpinned by EU measures such as the Water Framework, Marine Strategy Framework and the Habitats Directives. The report calls for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to be replaced by payments that reward environmentally sensitive practices delivered through farmer-earned recognition and voluntary accreditation. It also identified a number of opportunities arising from Brexit which could benefit both the aquatic environment and rural businesses.

Angling Trust & Fish Legal Chief Executive Mark Lloyd said:
“There is no doubt that developing a new national post-Brexit agriculture policy to replace the CAP presents a golden opportunity to develop policies that will promote both a sustainable agriculture industry and sustainable and diverse ecosystems.  The future of farming depends on healthy soil and we don’t want soil choking up our rivers.  Tackling soil erosion would be good for food production, reducing flood risk, protecting biodiversity and restoring fish stocks. Subsidies for production need to be converted into catchment payments for delivering ecosystem services to society. Such incentives should be contract based, and rigorously enforced to ensure that is fair to the majority who do play by the rules.  Polluters should pay, and shouldn’t be paid.”

The report calls on ministers to make provision for the safeguarding of standards of environmental protection derived from European Union legislation, including for water, air, soil, flood protection, and climate change, after the withdrawal of the UK from the EU.
It argues that retention of the EU environmental directives is essential in delivering the Conservative manifesto commitment “to leave the natural environment in a better state for the next generation” through a new 25-year DEFRA plan.

Speaking at the Rural Reception at Conservative Conference the Angling Trust Campaigns Chief Martin Salter said:
“We believe that these EU directives are all essential for improving the aquatic environment and protecting our fisheries and trust that Ministers will not throw out the 'environmental baby' in the ' Brexit bathwater'. In fact, we are hoping to see strengthening in some cases.”
Paul Knight Chief Executive of Salmon & Trout Conservation UK added:
“Brexit presents us with an opportunity to give the full framework of our environmental legislation a distinctly British flavour to reflect the challenges of delivering the Conservative manifesto commitment to be the first generation to leave the environment in a better state than they found it, in an increasingly crowded island.”

Arlin Rickard Chief Executive of The Rivers Trust said:
“We urge ministers to do all that they can to help ensure the UK safeguards existing environmental legislation and strengthens the protection of vital ecosystem services. This may be achieved through a combination of clear baseline regulation and incentives provided through new paid ecosystem services. The key being the development of innovative funding mechanisms like Cap & Trade and earned recognition opportunities, including upstream water company and local authority investment in water resource protection and Natural Flood Risk Management. It is absolutely vital that we ensure that the environment does not fall to the bottom of the pile of new policy and legislative decisions.”  
The report also calls for the sustainable management of marine fisheries based on scientific evidence and the designation of recreational-only species in recognition of the far greater social and economic benefits arising from sea angling than from commercial fishing.  This and other policies should be encapsulated in a new national fisheries policy covering both marine and freshwater fish, which takes much greater account of the needs and role of recreational fisheries.

The report concludes:
A healthy environment underpins economic and social wellbeing for a whole host of reasons.  This paper focuses on the impact of Brexit on fisheries, which make a major contribution to rural and coastal economies, but we believe that there are multiple wider benefits for society and the economy from continuing to work towards complying with European environmental protection legislation.


The Rivers Trust Autumn Conference 2016

12th & 13th September 2016 - Exeter

The Partnership approach & the assessing the benefits of catchment management

We would like to say a huge thank-you to everyone who attended the Rivers Trust Autumn Conference in Exeter last week. It was hugely exciting to see such enthusiasm from everyone who attended – thanks to you all for helping to generate a really great collaborative atmosphere on both days.

Links to presentations and further information here

River Improvement Fund Programme
completion report summary

Rivers, lakes and coastal waters are vital natural resources: they provide drinking water, crucial habitats for many different types of wildlife, and are an important resource for industry and recreation. Protecting and improving the environment is an important part of achieving sustainable development and is vital for the long term health, wellbeing and prosperity of everyone.

The River Improvement Fund Programme was an initiative of three phases over four years, wholly managed by The Rivers Trust and actioned by rivers trusts throughout the Country. It delivered the largest ever river improvement programme by a non governmental organisation in England. This section of the website provides an overview of programme management, delivery and achievements.

Further details here


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