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Sign our new petition to Rescue Our Rivers and help a babble of voices become a mighty wave

The alarm has been sounded and thousands of people have responded – this is a freshwater emergency. A babble of concerned voices is fast becoming a mighty wave – and now you can add yours.

We have launched a new petition to Rescue our Rivers. We’re calling on Government and all political parties to adopt the simple, positive solutions set out in the Charter for Rivers to restore rivers to health for people and nature by 2030.

We’re very proud of the impact the Charter for Rivers has had since its launch last month (April 23). The Charter is backed by more than 50 influential organisations including environmental charities, community groups and sporting bodies, including the National Trust, WWF, the Soil Association, the Wildlife Trusts, the Rivers Trust, Save the Wye, the Angling Trust, British Canoeing, Swim England and British Rowing – as well as by individuals including Deborah Meaden, Iolo Williams, Megan McCubbin and Mya-Rose Craig. 
These steps include ending sewage pollution, stopping agriculture from polluting our rivers, preventing harmful chemicals at source and inspecting polluters in order to uphold the law. Solutions are possible. They require action, not just words, from political leaders of all parties and from the businesses that are responsible – directly or indirectly – for river pollution. 
We need to keep up the momentum to get this real change. That’s why this petition is so important. It calls on Government and political leaders to adopt the principles of the Charter and commit to restoring our rivers and freshwaters to health by 2030. The petition ensures that this Charter won’t be forgotten about or slip off the news and political agenda. It will show that hundreds of thousands of people want to see the principles of the Charter adopted by those who have the power to make the change.
And let’s not forget why this is so desperately needed – the UK’s rivers are in serious trouble. They are not fit to swim or play in, our wildlife is fast disappearing and freshwater is becoming more scarce in the face of the climate emergency. Sadly:
  • In 2022 alone, raw sewage was discharged into waterways over 300,000 times
  • 40% of river quality targets are not met because of failures caused by agriculture and land management
  • Extreme climate change-related weather conditions are worsening the situation, with more intense storms increasing sewage overflows and agricultural runoff and drier, hotter summers leading to an increase of life-smothering algal blooms
  • Water availability is decreasing, with the Environment Agency warning that water demand will exceed supply in England within 25 years. 
  • Our rivers are no longer suitable homes for wildlife: over 10% of UK freshwater species are threatened with extinction and two-thirds are in decline. 

So please join us, make your voice heard and show your support for the Rescue Our Rivers petition. Together, our ripples will be amplified – and the strength of feeling around river health will become an unstoppable wave.

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