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Funding to collaboratively restore our rivers could flatline

At Trent Rivers Trust, we believe that change happens by encouraging collaboration, community and shared learning.

Rivers are facing pressures from all corners and those with an interest in the state of our rivers must work together constructively on solutions locally. This is to help identify problems across the entire catchment, prioritise and secure funding to make a difference on the ground.

For over 10 years, we have been doing this as part of the Catchment Based Approach (CaBA), Catchment Partnerships that bring together experts from across a catchment, crossing the boundaries of different counties or local authority areas. The funding that catchment partnerships attract helps us to facilitate projects, such as our natural flood reduction work in Charnwood, our urban river restoration in Leicester and our tree planting initiatives in the Dove. All of these projects came about as part of a conversation facilitated by a catchment partnership. Catchment Partners can work together to achieve so much more for our rivers, than they can working alone.

With no river in good overall condition, it is clear that we need to see much more action at scale and across all areas of our catchments. We need to build and nurture partnerships and, crucially, develop impactful projects across different sectors to help our rivers and catchments recover.

Last year, The Rivers Trust provided a comprehensive business case for CaBA, illustrating the wealth of environmental and social benefits it realises and demonstrating that significant increases in funding for catchment partnerships are needed to meet the aims of the Government’s 2023 Plan for Water. This was reiterated by Defra minister Rebecca Pow at a 10-year celebration event for catchment partnerships.

Recent funding letters, however, confirmed no increases in funding for next year, while the decision of an increase still hangs in the balance.

We are now seeking clarification about the future of CaBA funding to ensure that a vital commitment to improve conditions for our rivers, wildlife, and communities depending on them is not missed.

In the past, CaBA has helped us make a difference for communities at flood risk, supported the recovery of at-risk species, such as the Atlantic salmon, and catchment recovery more widely.

You can help us make collaborative efforts to make this work happen. Please contact your MP to re-iterate the importance of investing in the recovery of our rivers locally.

You can identify and contact your local MPs and councillors via They Work For You.

If you do send a letter feel free to use this template. It would be great if you could include and in your message and let us know of any follow-up from MPs.

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