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We have an important role to play in improving river health across the region, engaging with local communities and interested organisations. Our river rangers and Future Rivers Forum are two ways in which we are working with others to respond to the challenge.

To protect our rivers and help to keep them healthy, we have recruited a brand new team of six river rangers who will be based across the region. The rangers will be working with teams across our catchments, forging close links and engaging with community groups and organisations and collaborating with them to improve the environment and river water quality in those areas. They’ll be proactively patrolling the banks of rivers, checking assets to organise maintenance and cleaning litter and debris to mitigate against the aesthetic impact of our operations. The river rangers’ work will allow us to further understand the quality of rivers across our region and what more we need to do to protect their health and help them thrive. If successful, we plan to hire more rangers to support our activities right across the North West.

In partnership with the Rivers Trust, we hosted the North West’s first Future Rivers Forum to drive awareness and address the challenges that face rivers across the region including climate change, population growth and pollution. The Future Rivers Forum brought together a cross section of people and organisations including local authority representatives, North West businesses, environmental bodies, water sector regulators and local community figures to encourage greater collaboration to improve the health of the region’s rivers.

The river rangers will be working with teams across our catchments to forge close links and engage with community groups and organisations.

The day consisted of a mixture of speakers as well as networking and interactive sprint workshops to identify new opportunities to work together. Attendees discussed the challenges their industries face, shared solutions and committed to put words into actions and create a lasting impact that goes beyond the day’s events. Collaboration, funding, and nature-based solutions were key themes to emerge from discussions.