A cross party group of MPs, including the current Water Minister Therese Coffey, Sports Minister Tracey Crouch and former Fisheries Minister Richard Benyon, attended a chalk stream discovery day on the River Itchen last week to learn about problems facing all rivers and in particular the English chalk streams.

These unique habitats are under threat from over abstraction and agricultural pollution, and many have experienced a significant loss of their natural habitat. The MPs joined WWF and the Angling Trust on the iconic Hampshire river to hear about the stresses that our rivers are under ahead of a major campaign launch that is seeking to press the government to deliver on its long overdue promise to reform the outdated water abstraction regime.

Fewer than one in five chalk streams meets the required good ecological status and only 12 of England’s 224 chalk streams have special conservation protection. Many industrial and housing developments have been approved with little thought to the potential impacts they pose to the condition of local rivers.

The new WWF rivers campaign, which will be launched on 24th June and is supported by the Angling Trust and 80 individual rivers trusts, is asking the public to take action to help safeguard our rivers.

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