They are under pressure from development for hydro electricity and from effluent and polluting runoff from nearby development.
There is a culture of ‘it’s easier to ask forgiveness than permission’ among developers, where trees are felled and rivers clogged ‘unintentionally’.
Many of these plans go uncontested because they never reach the public eye. Even those with little concern for the environment.
We discovered the plans to build a hydro electric plant and dam on the Conwy River by accident, when Tom came across a group of surveyors at the river on his way to go kayaking. From this early warning in 2012 we were able to build support and opposition to this damaging scheme.
As a collection of outdoor recreation enthusiasts, who kayak, fish and swim in the rivers close to us, we love the rivers. By going often to the river we see things that sometimes other people don’t see and sadly developers don’t often recognise. Among us, we found we could call on a lot of professional expertise; from hydrologists and naturalists, to people with connections in park planning.
Our free flowing rivers are some of the last undisturbed wild spaces in the country. They may cut a refuge for wildlife through areas of development or pass largely unnoticed through our scenic national parks, but there is a wave of development coming to these rivers which has unforeseen consequences.
After five years of campaigning we have called to account the thin plans to build in the Conwy, and planning permission and water abstraction have not been granted. But there are a great many other free flowing rivers in the UK, which remain under threat of irreversible development. ‘Save the Conwy’ has now become ‘Save Our Rivers’ and we have become a UK charity. We’re here to help and to encourage the scrutiny of these plans by local communities and all of us who love the outdoor life.
How we can help?
We can bring our expertise and contacts to help scrutinise:
- Environmental impact assessments.
- Wildlife habitat studies.
- Riverine flow studies.
- UK planning procedures.
And to help you to activate your community to see the value in the free flowing rivers around us.
What can you do?
- Watch for development or damage to your local rivers.
- Attend the planning meetings and hold the developers, your councilors and representatives to account.
- Take someone new with you to the river. Encourage others to find recreation in and a love of our rivers.
- Follow SaveOurRivers.org here and on Instagram and Facebook.