The river Thames is one of the waterways which makes the most improved top 10 list.
Environment Agency report names top 10 UK rivers most improved in last two decades.
‘Britain’s rivers are the healthiest they have been for 20 years’.
That’s the conclusion of a report published by the Environment Agency this week, which delivers a list of the top 10 most improved waterways across England and Wales – some of which were pronounced biologically dead just decades ago.
Including such rivers as the Thames and Wandle – once declared an open sewer – the findings are great news for anglers with the return of a number of fish species, including salmon and eels to many of areas of the improved waterways.
Citing the improvements as the result of thousands of habitat improvement projects carried out across the UK, along with the tougher regulation of polluting industries and reviews of water abstraction licenses, the EA is now looking to take things even further and improve another 9,500 miles of UK river by 2015.
“Work that we have done with farmers, businesses and water companies to reduce the amount of water taken from rivers, minimise pollution and improve water quality is really paying off, as these rivers show,” said Ian Barker, the EA’s head of Land and Water. “Britain’s rivers are the healthiest for over 20 years and otters, salmon and other wildlife are returning for the first time since the industrial revolution. “But there’s more to be done. By 2015 the UK must meet tough new EU targets on the water quality and ecology of its rivers and lakes. This year the Environment Agency, with partners such as Natural England, is targeting £18m of Defra (Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs) funding to help more rivers meet the new EU targets.”
Top 10 Most Improved UK Rivers
• River Wandle, south-west London • River Thames, London • River Wear, County Durham • River Stour, Worcestershire • The River Darent, Kent • The River Dee, Wales and north-west England • River Nar, Norfolk • River Taff, south Wales • River Stour, Dorset • The Mersey Basin, north-west England