Author Tony Whitbread
Our local rivers are precious and important for our economy, health, well-being and leisure as well as being vital for wildlife and the wider environment. Multiple pressures, however, impact on this valuable resource; including water abstraction, pollution, soil run-off and changing weather patterns (which have resulted in both drought and flood conditions in this area). Our rivers are not the clean and healthy habitats they ought to be.
The Arun & Rother Rivers Trust (ARRT) is a new charity dedicated to improving the quality of all the rivers and streams within the “Arun and Western Streams” Catchment. I have been delighted to be a member of the board of ARRT since it was established and see this charity as an excellent vehicle for bringing together all the people who are active in the river environment – from landowners, farmers and anglers to residents, conservationists and naturalists.
ARRT has now been asked by Defra to listen and engage with people who live, work in and manage the catchment and to take the lead in writing a Catchment Management Plan for the area. To explore this approach ARRT with the Arun and Rother Connections (ARC) Partnership and the South Downs National Park Authority are hosting an event to give people a real say in how their local water environment is managed now and in the future.
ARRT are therefore putting out an open invitation to everyone in the area to come and join a discussion about our local rivers, streams and wetlands. This event will be run in the evening on Thursday 6th December and is open to everyone - you do not need any specialist knowledge to participate. To make it as convenient as possible for people to attend, ARRT is running the event twice on the same day, once in the afternoon and once in the evening, so you can come along to either of the two sessions.
During the workshop you will have the chance to:
- Learn more about catchment management, express your own concerns and discuss possible solutions
- Help identify opportunities for working together
- Learn about funding and support for local community projects
ARRT is keen for this important event to be well attended and I strongly support ARRT in its aims. We hope that by working together we can develop a clear vision for a rich and thriving river system and develop practical projects to achieve it.
To book your place, please register on-line here or call Sara Denton on 07557 190705. Further information including an agenda and directions will be sent out to all registered participants before the event.