Together with the Rivers Trust and the Environment Agency, the Wandle Trust is delighted to announce the formation of the new South East Rivers Trust to help engage communities with conservation and restoration of their local rivers across Kent and south east England.
The rivers trust movement has grown rapidly in recent years, with a vibrant network of individually motivated community-led initiatives operating throughout over 80% of UK river catchments. One of the few areas without widespread rivers trust coverage has been south east England.
After much consideration by the Rivers Trust and the Environment Agency, it was agreed that a nearby Trust extending its current area of operation would be the most efficient means of capitalising on existing expertise and avoiding unnecessary duplication of effort.
In particular, this will mean working very closely alongside other existing local organisations delivering river conservation work including the Kent Countryside Management Partnerships, which is co-ordinated by Kent County Council.
Rivers trusts apply the ecosystem approach at a catchment scale, and have a strong ethos of community engagement and partnership working with other bodies including farmers, landowners, water companies, other environmental NGO’s and angling groups.
In collaboration with the Environment Agency and many local partners, the Wandle Trust has a proven track record of delivering complex river restoration projects across south west London, with a unique blend of scientific expertise and volunteer engagement. Accordingly, the Wandle Trust has agreed to extend its area of benefit to cover the Kent and the south eastern area where rivers trusts have not historically operated, and where river restoration may have been underfunded as a result.
This approach is already beginning to bear fruit. During summer 2013, in collaboration with the Kent Countryside Management Partnerships, we successfully responded to Defra’s Catchment Improvement Partnership to act as co-hosts for many of the rivers in the south east area.
Over time, the Wandle Trust intends to evolve fully into the South East Rivers Trust, with the objective of developing community river restoration with all interested partners across the south east region.
This website is designed to keep everyone informed about our work, and as a place to get in touch.
If you have any ideas for partnership projects, or would like to work with us in any way to improve the health of your local river, please don’t hesitate to contact us!