The sorry state of rivers

the Thames (the river running round the site) is too dirty to feed our ponds

Pinkhill Meadow pond creation demonstration site: the Thames (the river running round the site) is too dirty to feed the ponds here

The news report in the Telegraph that 80% of rivers will fail a new Europe-wide assessment of their quality is bad news – but should come as no surprise to people familar with river wildlife .

And it’s of concern to everyone who loves ponds too – because rivers, ponds and lakes are really all part of one big network – even when they aren’t directly joined to each other.

There’s been a lot of good work done by the Environment Agency, Scottish Environment Protection Agency and Natural England – as well as conservation bodies – on our rivers. And the water companies are trying – though they could often do more, caught between the rock of environmental responsibility and the hard place of people thinking that water should be for free.

There are some good news stories – like the spread otters, and the big catch of salmon last year.

But the modern world is very unfriendly to our freshwaters – and we’ll need to do a lot more if river wildlife is not to go on disappearing.

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