Why only rivers?

I notice here that the Environment Agency has put out a leaflet we’ve all paid for asking people in the Norwich area to protect rivers.

Obviously commendable.

But why only rivers? Why not the rest of the water environment too?

The area covered by the leaflet has hundreds (maybe thousands) of ponds, lots of important lakes (the Broads) and some of our most important freshwater ditch systems. There’s a high chance these support more of the regions freshwater biodiversity than the rivers.

Improving rivers like the Wensum (which is important and pretty badly damaged) is going to be the toughest, expensive and most difficult – maybe impossible – part of the Agency’s work.

So they should also talk about the rest of the freshwater environment, which is as important, may be easier to care for and which they have a duty to protect. The smaller waters probably play a vital role in the other ‘services’ provided by freshwater.

The Agency has a duty to implement the Water Framework Directive, which is supposed to protect the whole of the water environment: the leaflet looks odd seen in that light.


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