Riverlands: how we keep our rivers flowing
We all rely on rivers. For centuries they’ve been the veins that run through our cities and countryside: providing water for us to drink and grow crops, powering our industries and providing us with tranquil places to explore and escape.
Today, though, our rivers are in trouble - and so is the wildlife that depends on them. Intensive farming, pressures from development and the effects of climate change have all taken their toll, and now only 17% of England’s rivers are in good health. This means that some of our most important plants, insects, animals and birds are at risk.
That’s why we’ve started our most ambitious waterways project ever: to bring our rivers, streams, brooks and becks flowing back to life.
" Rivers are the lifeblood of our landscapes but many of them – and the wider landscapes that feed into them – are in desperate need of repair."
We’re starting with five of the UK’s most precious rivers, ranging from the Derwent in Cumbria to the steep, narrow streams of Porlock Vale in Somerset. The work includes helping to slow the flow of water and alleviate flooding, repairing banks, creating new habitats and tackling the rise of invasive non-native species.
We’ll also be working with local communities to help them rediscover and reconnect with their rivers – as spaces for leisure and activity, to socialise, or simply take a walk beside the water and clear their minds.
We’re already hard at work to reverse the fortunes of our rivers – read on to find out what we’re up to across the country.