The UK government has committed to halt and reverse the decline of nature by 2030 both nationally through the Environment Act and on the international stage at the 2022 UN biodiversity summit COP15. We can’t possibly meet these commitments without healthy rivers. Governments must restore the environmental protection budgets of their respective statutory environment agencies so that water quality monitoring and agricultural inspections can be increased significantly and existing regulations are enforced rigorously by the routine prosecution of polluters.
We launched the ‘Double the Dosh’ petition calling for the UK government to double the budgets for environmental regulators so they can do their job in monitoring and holding polluters to account. The total annual cost of doubling environmental protection budgets will be in the region of £60m – the cost of the construction of less than a quarter of a kilometre of HS2.
A massive 65,000 of you signed the petition to ‘Double the Dosh for river protection’. We handed the petition in to Defra and the Treasury in May 2023 demanding immediate action from both departments to adequate resources regulators to enable them to do their job. We await the Government’s response!
In April 2023, we launched the Charter For Rivers, setting out what all political parties need to do to restore our rivers to health for people and nature by 2023 which include calls to adequately fund and resource regulators to hold polluters to account. Supported by over 50 organisation from The Wildlife Trusts and WWF to British Rowing and the The Nature Friendly Farming Network we want all political parties to adopt the Charter into their manifestos in the run up to the next general election.