As part of the ‘Your Tidal Thames’ project, charity groups Thames21 and Thames Estuary Partnership (TEP) will now work together as partners to help stakeholders and communities across the tideway build a plan for long-term improvements.

This follows the launch of a catchment-based approach to working with people and organisations that can make a difference to the health of England’s waterways by Defra and the Environment Agency (EA) earlier this year.

The initiative was developed from the Water Framework Directive, which commits EU member states to achieving ‘good status’ for all water bodies.

Water minister Richard Benyon said: “Our rivers are vital for our health, well-being, leisure and the environment and we’ve all got a role to play in making sure they are as clean as they can be.

“People don’t always make the link between the water in their rivers and their own actions, such as how they use water at home. This type of collaborative, community-led project will inspire people to value their local rivers and to take action to look after them.”

25 river catchments across England have now been selected to test out this approach to river basin management planning, which is anticipated to be expanded across the country if successful.

The public and stakeholders are now being urged to come forward with their views on the scheme at a range of workshops on June 1 in London.

Carys Matthews

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