The Environment Agency has today welcomed a new strategy launched to protect England’s chalk streams.
The report, published 15 October by the Catchment Based Approach’s Chalk Stream Restoration Group, sets out recommendations of how to enhance these precious habitats.
Chalk streams are a rare and valuable habitat, often referred to as England’s equivalent of rainforests. It is estimated that 85% of the world’s chalk streams are in England and around 10% of these are in Lincolnshire.
Most water we drink in the east comes from rainwater stored deep beneath our feet in natural chalk ‘aquifers’, which feed our chalk streams. Chalk streams also need good water quality for different species of fish, plants and insects to flourish. However they face significant challenges in the 21st century due to complex problems worsened by climate change and population growth.
Recommendations in the strategy include enhanced status to drive investment in water resources and restoring physical habitat and biodiversity. The strategy has bought together partners including the Environment Agency, Natural England, Defra, water companies and environmental organisations.
Environment Agency Chair Emma Howard Boyd said: "England is home to 85% of the world’s chalk streams and their future depends on collective action from water companies, farmers, and landowners as well as government and regulators. No one should undermine the value of chalk streams, and today’s report adds clarity and certainty about what is expected of all their users. The National Framework for Water Resources encourages water companies to open up new infrastructure to reduce reliance on chalk aquifers. This is one of the many good proposals in today’s report that needs collective action."
Posted on: 15 October 2021