Fewer than one in five UK rivers currently meet Good Ecological Status standards required by the European Union’s Water Framework Directive and nearly 25% are at risk of over-abstraction. As a result, half of all freshwater wildlife, including many fish species, are in decline and 13% are threatened with extinction.
This is why the Angling Trust is backing a major new campaign spearheaded by WWF-UK to press government for better protection for our precious rivers from over-abstraction and sewage pollution. The Nature Needs You campaign asks you to take action to help safeguard our rivers.
On the campaign website there’s a simple form through which you can send a message directly to your MP and tell them why it’s important they act to protect your favourite river. There’s also an interactive river map where you can find out how healthy your local river is. We need you to get on board because there’s no one that deteriorating water quality affects more than us anglers.
The ask is for your MP to put pressure on the new Environment Secretary Michael Gove to deliver on the government’s long-overdue promise to reform the outdated water abstraction regime and to exert stricter controls over sewer overflows.
More than 3,800 letters have already been sent to 576 individual MPs in England and Wales, with at least one MP writing directly to Michael Gove asking for the campaign aims to be addressed.
If you’re involved with an angling club or consultative organisation, please consider holding your own event by requesting one of the specially designed River Engagement Packs. These packs contain postcards to send to MPs, a fold-out guide, a more detailed pamphlet that explains the issues and how they can be resolved, and an A3 poster to be displayed in riverside shops, cafes, nature reserves or any other waterside establishment.
The River Engagement Packs can be obtained by contacting Angling Trust Campaigns Officer James Champkin at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Angling Trust Campaigns Team