From: charles rangeley <email@example.com>
Sent: Thursday, May 20, 2021 3:57 PM
To: Charles Rangeley-Wilson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: Sarah Powell EA <email@example.com>
Subject: CaBA CSRG Chalk Stream Restoration Strategy 2021 - consultation.
Dear fellow lover of chalk streams,
after six months of very hard but rewarding work we have a consultation draft of the CaBA chalk stream restoration strategy. It is available to view via the Rivers Trust website, where there are also details on how to provide feedback.
CaBA Chalk Stream Restoration Strategy Consultation - CaBA
I'm available for a phone / zoom call to talk through any aspect of the strategy (just drop me an email and we'll arrange a time – if I get the sense it would be popular I can always organise a group session), but it would be best if we confine formal feedback to the RT website process. There is a link here: ArcGIS Survey123
Also I'll be doing a Q&A with the Chalk Aquifer Alliance on June 2nd, so if you sign up to that there will be a chance to discuss the plan there too. This is the link to register: Webinar Registration - Zoom
Going from experience of feedback on the first draft, I would encourage people to read beyond the summary, as it is literally impossible to fully explain, contextualise or justify any given action or subject in a brief few paragraphs. The strategy is quite long and that is why. Nevertheless, I do hope you will find it readable, accessible and clear.
Finally, please bear in mind, as I have had to throughout, that this is intended to be a strategy that all parties can sign up to and support. In that sense it will be too radical for some and not nearly radical enough for others. The danger, which I have been aware of, is that seeking a consensus view risks watering down ambition. We have tried our hardest to resist this and I have to say the positivity of all involved has been genuinely encouraging. And so I do think we have a strategy which, if we follow it and act on it, will make a massive difference.
It won't be the be all and end all. There are hills to climb ahead of more hills beyond. The more hills? Nitrogen levels in the chalk aquifer. Toxins in road-run-off. Climate change. Invasive species.
But at the fixable (if challenging) end of things there is excessive groundwater abstraction, too much nutrient from secondary-only sewage works on undesignated streams, too much run-off from farmland, too many storm overflows, too many weirs, too many canalised reaches, not enough gravel on the river beds, not enough trees in and around the river and not enough space for the river to be a river. That's housekeeping. We know how to fix these things. All it requires is political backing and collective effort. The latter begets the former.
Let's hope we really can leave chalk streams better than we found them.
All the very best,