Launch unveils seven goals to improve quality of the Broads
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Environmentalists and business leaders behind plans to improve the quality of the Broads met yesterday with great hopes for the future of one of Norfolk and Suffolk's most treasured assets.
The Broadland Rivers Catchment Plan, which brings together organisations covering an area more than 10 times the size of the waterways themselves, will focus on seven goals addressing issues around water quality and shortage, flooding and wildlife habitat.
The plan, produced by the Broadland Catchment Partnership (BCP) which formed in 2012, will see a range of interested parties co-hosted by the Broads Authority and the Norfolk Rivers Trust, working together on a shared vision for 2027 – including sustainable agriculture and water treatment, rivers functioning more naturally and supporting a range of habitats and native species.
Andrea Kelly, senior ecologist for the Broads Authority and chairman of the BCP steering group, said: 'We've done a lot of work bringing together people and gathering evidence to see what needs to be done. Everyone has been achieving great things alone but there is a lot more to do and we can achieve more together.
'Our aim is to work with people, businesses, farmers, fishermen and river users to discuss realistic actions we can take to improve the water.' The plan was launched at the River Waveney Study Centre in Earsham and included representatives from Anglian Water, The National Farmers' Union and Norfolk Wildlife Trust. The catchment includes the area that feeds water into the rivers Bure, Waveney, Wensum and Yare and out to sea at Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft.
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Rob Wise, regional environment advisor for the National Farmers' Union, said: 'It is very easy to assume that many of the problems are caused by farmers but the data suggests that this is not always the case.
'The partnership will give farmers an opportunity to explain to the rest of society what they do and how crucial a secure supply of water is to producing the food that we eat.'
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Will Robinson, of Essex and Suffolk Water, said: 'If we can improve the water quality it will reduce the amount of treatment required which means we can use less chemicals and less energy.'
For a copy of the plan and action to be taken, visit www.broadlandcatchmentpartnership.org.uk
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