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New Partnership Formed To Improve The River Stour


8:32am 27th November 2013

A new partnership has been formed to help protect and improve the rivers and streams in the Dorset Stour catchment area.

Dorset Wildlife Trust, Wessex Water and other local groups will identify issues affecting water quality and develop solutions that can improve the environment.

The move's been made after 64% of rivers in the Stour area were identified as "needing "improvement" under a Water Directive.

Ben Rayner, Dorset catchment co-ordinator for the Environment Agency, said: "Working with local partners is the most effective way to improve the water environment and the Stour Catchment Partnership, hosted by Dorset Wildlife Trust and Wessex Water, will provide the ideal forum for engaging and coordinating these partners to deliver improvements for the waters of the Stour catchment."

The River Stour flows from the source at Stourhead to the coast at Christchurch Harbour. There are 46 rivers and streams in the Stour Catchment. Currently 33% of them are achieving the required 'good status'. The remaining 64% must improve to comply with the Water Framework Directive (WFD).

The overall aim of the Stour Catchment Initiative will be to improve these remaining streams.

Dorset Wildlife Trust said: "We are pleased to be working with local partners to improve the rivers in the Stour area, and we are looking forward to working with the local community. This is an area rich with wildlife, and it will benefit greatly from improvements made to the rivers, now and for the future."

Historically the Stour has not been a priority to receive funding for environmental improvements. But now the WFD, which sets out the objectives for water protection for the future, is encouraging focus on improving and protecting all rivers to preserve their natural beauty and wildlife.

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