Great Ouse Rivers Trust launches ‘safeguarding biodiversity’

England’s fifth longest waterway is the latest to benefit from the UK and Ireland-wide movement aiming to stem the flow of pollution and protect against climate change. 

Running 160-miles through Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, and Norfolk before hitting the North Sea, the Great Ouse’s new Trust is backed by British naturalist, explorer, presenter and writer, Steve Backshall MBE. The overall goal is to improve and maintain water quality and wildlife levels, identify areas suitable for wild swimming and other active sports, and convers ecologically rare chalk streams. 

‘Water is our planet’s lifeblood and we all have a role to play in protecting it. The Great Ouse Rivers Trust launch is a vital step towards safeguarding the health and biodiversity of this precious ecosystem for generations to come,’ said Blackshall. 

Working towards nature-based solution to flood management is also a priority, a process that will involve extensive tree planting and wetland restoration, which could boost carbon capture capabilities. It is hoped that with improved habitats, many species in decline could recover over time. 

As per a House of Commons Committee Report in 2022, just 14% of UK rivers are considered to be in a ‘good’ state, environmentally speaking, and none are free of chemical contamination. Major contributors to the crisis include agricultural and industrial run off, poor land management, and waste water, with suppliers consistently under fire for allowing millions of litres of sewage to enter fresh water and coastal areas each year. 

‘We are the only organisation with the objective to focus on the entire river, from source to sea, at this crucial and critical time for the UK’s rivers. Rivers are vitally important for biodiversity, as fish passages,’ said Phil Rothwell, Chair of the Great Ouse Rivers Trust. ‘They’re also invaluable as our climate becomes more unpredictable, as natural flood passages. As well as these fundamental environmental issues, rivers bring a host of benefits for outdoor activities. They offer respite and joy as places to enjoy nature, and as a leisure destination for swimmers, anglers, boaters, and paddlers.’

More on water pollution:

Just one water supplier contributes to Rivers Trust real-time sewage map

Can the personal care industry clean up and take climate action

The Polluted Mermaid campaign highlights plight of marine life

Water pollution events now detectable from space

Image: Peter O’Connor aka anemoneprojectors


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Help us break the news – share your information, opinion or analysis
Back to top