Environment Bill: Water Targets

Today (19th Aug) the Government has revealed its initial thoughts around setting the targets they aim to use to measure the success of the 25 year Environment Plan.

These are the INITIAL THOUGHTS only – the full scope of the target setting involves setting metrics, consultation and drafting the legislation. This should all be in place by 31 October 2022, when Government approval will be sought.

Targets for the Water Environment

There are no mention of Water Framework Directive targets – but then this is European legislation so possibly not surprising. The overarching vision seems to be:

“To achieve clean and plentiful water by improving at least three quarters of our waters to be as close to their natural state as soon as is practicable.”

And this will be achieved by :

Implementing better and more innovative ways to prevent agricultural pollutants damaging water bodies, whilst maintaining a competitive agricultural sector

Proposing a wastewater target which focuses on phosphates and nitrates in order to ensure that rapid progress is made in reducing their environmental impact.

Maintaining the government target for a 50% reduction in leakage by 2050, and endorsed the industry’s commitment to this reduction. Setting a demand target to encourage water companies to go further in reducing the demand for water and to also reduce non-household water use in conjunction with the retail market.

And possibly by:

Reducing the impact of pollution from abandoned metal mines on the water environment

Reducing the impact of physical modification on the water environment

More details about these targets here

Are you Pennywort Alert?

The Environment Agency and RiverCare have a range of resources (posters and postcards) for river based organisations, towns and villages to use to highlight the problem of Floating Pennywort in our waterways. Order your resources here.

You can also help out with an ambitious citizen science project to spot Pennywort on the River Great Ouse – if you spot any click on this link to report it.

Ouse Washes Section 10 news update

The latest news from the Environment Agency about progress on the need to reinforce the Middle Level (Welney village side) Barrier bank.

Works along the Middle Level Barrier Bank

More about the Ouse Washes Section 10 work here

Welney Flood Barrier Consultation – closes 30 September 20

It isn’t too late to reply to the Environment Agency consultation about the installation of a flood barrier across the A1101 at Welney. This is to protect the village in case of over topping of the Old Bedford River. The EA need to know the best time to close the road in order to do this.

Consultation here

Fascinated by the Fens? Share your knowledge, meet field experts and talk to researchers.

Come to  a Community Day on Friday 29 March in Ely to find out about the Scottish Soldiers who helped make (another word for dig!) our drained landscape.  Not much is known about these men and this project aims to piece together this forgotten story from the 1650s.

If you have any information about this fascinating local history please come along and share your stories or bring anything that might tell about the draining of the Fens, Maps, Articles, Family Stories, Objects.






Invasive Non Native Species update

 The GB Non Native Species Secretariat: October 2018 survey findings

The GB Non Native Species Secretariat has recently commissioned a report to look at public knowledge and attitudes towards non-native invasive species and discovered that “‘Species’ and ‘organisms’ meant little to many participants – ‘invasive animals and plants’ were more meaningful.”

The general public and targeted groups (anglers, boaters and exotic pet owners) were asked about their awareness levels, the impact they thought INNS could have on their activities and the actions they personally are taking to reduce the risk of spreading them. The finding from this have been used to shape a set of recommendations for the future of the Check, Clean, Dry Campaign (also in the report). The full report can be found here

Free Check, Clean Dry promotion materials are available here

 Brexit: plant and animal biosecurity – House of Lords Report October 2018 

The UK currently follows EU legislation on biosecurity, with decisions on implementing biosecurity measures made predominantly at an EU level. The UK also benefits from EU-wide intelligence gathering and disease notification systems, systems for tracing plant and animal movements, and coordinated research efforts.

This report  looks at what to be in place in order to reduce the threat of any EU new invasive organisms and manage the current ones post Brexit. It also identifies a number of opportunities for making our biosecurity more “bespoke” to the UK once we have left the EU.

ADA Biosecurity Policy & Procedures for IDBs

The Association of Drainage Authorities (ADA) has produced a template for a biosecurity policy and set of procedures to help internal drainage boards manage and reduce the risk of INNS spread. Click here for a model IDB Biosecurity Policy and Procedures.

Surface Water Flooding Contacts

The Met Office is stating that there is a risk of heavy thunderstorms in Cambridgeshire today (26th July) and tomorrow (27th July) which could cause notable surface water flooding. The cause is from slow moving showers across the County. You can see the warning details for both days here: https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/warnings#?date=2018-07-26

The issue with ‘slow moving’ showers is that it is very difficult to state where exactly and when exactly the rainfall will, if at all, fall within the County.  If it does fall within an isolated area of the County we could experience flooding like that in August, 2014 where a number of major roads were closed and properties flooded.

The risk from rivers remains very low and there is no anticipation of the issuing of any widespread flood alerts or warnings for river flooding – you should sign up to the Environment agency’s flood alerts and warnings for more information on this. You can do so here: https://www.gov.uk/sign-up-for-flood-warnings

With the weekend approaching  180720 Flooding advice emergency contacts that may be of use to you and other residents as to where to turn for assistance.