As most readers of this blog will know, lots of our work on the Wandle involves getting down and dirty in our waders, often in places where no-one else wants to go…
But sometimes we also get stuck into moments of high national drama – such as yesterday evening, when Bella and I went back to the Houses of Parliament to represent the Wandle Trust at the 2010 update on the Blueprint for Water (click here to download the full pdf version).
Co-ordinated by Wildlife & Countryside Link on behalf of a coalition (see what they did there?) of 14 leading environmental organisations, the updated Blueprint sets out a 10 point plan for achieving a sustainable water environment by 2015.
As DEFRA Minister Richard Benyon MP remarked in his opening speech, the Blueprint is really about 3 things: using water more wisely, reducing pollution and improving water quality, and improving habitats.
But the full report contains plenty more details and fascinating ideas…
- Waste less water
- Keep our rivers flowing and wetlands wet
- Price water fairly
- Make polluters pay
- Stop pollutants contaminating our water
- Keep sewage out of homes and rivers and off beaches
- Support water-friendly farming
- Slow, manage and clean drainage from roads and buildings
- Protect and restore catchments from source to sea
- Retain water on floodplains and wetlands
Recent Wandle history also put the Wandle Trust in pole position for inclusion in the Blueprint as a case study for how a pollution incident can lead to partnership between the polluter and local people who want to help put the problem right – the origins of the Living Wandle project.
And as you might also expect, we enthusiastically support the idea that…
By 2014, the Government should create a Catchment Restoration Fund financed from fines, abstraction/discharge charges and public funds to support works to restore rivers and their catchments.
… just miles from Westminster, an unmissable demonstration of how the Wandle Trust’s keen volunteers are already driving forward the objectives of the Big Society and the Blueprint for Water, right here in South London!