New collaborative partnership promises a healthy future for the UK river life
This major piece of legislation will have a huge impact on farming and river management practices in the future. The legislation will specify important quality targets for the majority of local watercourses, streams and rivers to protect and enhance fish stocks, water habitats and eco-systems in the future.
However, as things stand, the majority of the UK's rivers and streams do not meet the WFD targets and many will struggle to do so. By working together on this issue, these two small, but influential conservation charities will ensure that those implementing the legislation will continue heeding the advice of expert conservationists.
The two charities will bring their own specific strengths to the partnership - the GWCT will deliver the scientific research findings while S&TA will deliver this into policy.
Paul Knight, Chief Executive of S&TA said, "The Salmon & Trout Association is well placed to transfer important scientific findings into policy. We have more than 108 years of campaigning experience and are already known in the corridors of power, having influenced water and fisheries legislation over this lengthy period of time. Today, we also have seats on both Defra's, and the Environment Agency's WFD groups."
Teresa Dent, Chief Executive of the GWCT said, "The GWCT undertakes wide-ranging fisheries research and runs one of the leading centres for salmon research on the River Frome in Dorset. In addition, we have been carrying out extensive studies on soil and water issues on our research farm in Leicestershire to reduce any environmental impacts caused by loss of soil and nutrients into water courses."
The Water Framework Directive is perhaps the most significant water legislation to be passed by the European parliament to date and ushers a new approach to the management of river catchments from an ecological perspective. The collaboration between the two charities will help ensure that this legislation is good news for aquatic wildlife as well as being underpinned by practical well-researched solutions that land and river managers will be able to deliver on the ground for the benefit of our natural water environments.