The Rivers Trust welcomes the Prime Minister’s significant keynote speech on the environment today (11th January 2018), which builds on the “Green Brexit” speech given last year by the Secretary of State, Michael Gove. "A Green Future: Our 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment”, gives a commitment to be the first generation to leave the environment in a better state. The Rivers Trust will be working closely with Government and its Agencies to achieve this. However improvement will only be sustainable if communities are fully engaged in both planning and delivery and, ecosystem function is put at the heart of a properly funded integrated programme. Commitments to build Natural Capital should help to ensure this. Partnership working between Government, business and civil society will be key in achieving real improvements on the ground and The Rivers Trust looks forward to working with water companies, farmers and landowners to not only protect and improve the environment but also livelihoods. This will require Government support for new sustainable funding mechanisms empowering communities and allowing practical cost-effective delivery.
Arlin Rickard, Chief Executive of The Rivers Trust, commented, “Overall, we welcome this ambitious vision for the UK environment and we look forward to seeing the plan take shape over the coming years, noting its encouraging commitment to clean and plentiful water, recognition of the impact of water abstraction and the opportunities for the greater use of natural flood management. "We now have much to do in making the plan a reality and it is crucial for community catchment partners and Rivers Trusts to pull together and continue to work closely with businesses and water companies to turn the plan into practical action on the ground." Read the full 25 Year Environment Plan here.
As part of a coalition of 31 organisations, we responded to the plan with the Wildlife and Countryside Link, see the co-ordinated response here.