BEDFORDSHIRE, UK, June 29, 2009 -- River conservation experts at the RSPB have welcomed today's news that the government will invest £10million in UK waterways and wetlands -- but warn that more still needs to be done.
Environment minister Huw Irranca-Davies today announced funding for a range of environmental projects which will benefit English rivers, canals, lakes and wetlands and the wildlife that rely on them, from otters and trout to dragonflies and wading birds.
Rob Cunningham, Head of water policy at RSPB, said: "This extra funding for rivers and wetlands is great news and it will take us a step closer to improving our water environment. In particular restoration and protection of wildlife habitats and the removal of barriers to fish and eels will see tangible benefits for rivers and wetland wildlife.
"But we can't rest on our laurels just yet. By the Government's own estimate water pollution is causing £1.6million worth of damage in this country each year -- that really puts this figure into perspective.
"So while we are sure today's announcement will pay for itself many times over by securing environmental improvements that generations of us can enjoy -- we look to others, particularly the agricultural industry and local authorities, to do more to reduce their environmental impact on rivers."
The RSPB, alongside the WWF, the Association of Rivers Trusts and the Angling Trust, launched the Our Rivers campaign earlier this year. The campaign is the largest of its kind ever launched in the UK and aims to help people record environmental issues affecting their local river and bring them to the attention of the Environment Agency.
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) speaks out for birds and wildlife, tackling the problems that threaten our environment.