Defra today unveiled the long-awaited funding and policy framework behind the ‘Catchment-Based Approach’. This is finally an endorsement of the methods used by Rivers Trusts and other bodies in managing river water quality, catchments and ecosystem services across the landscape. We are delighted to support the approach and will be working closely with all our colleagues in the Environment Agency, other wildlife organisations and farmers to turn this policy framework into real, effective change in Essex and Suffolk (catchments 10 – Combined Essex and 24 – East Suffolk).
In the meantime read the announcement here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/river-health-gets-16-million-boost
and Download the framework document here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/catchment-based-approach-improving-the-quality-of-our-water-environment
Initially here are some of the highlights for us…
£1m of the funding will be available to provide match funded support for the critical partnership lead/facilitators role in the form of a charitable grant. This will be distributed by the Environment Agency in proportion to catchment need within river basin districts and against the criteria within this framework.
A further £0.2m will be used to develop and deliver a training support package for the partnerships.
And up to £0.4m will be for direction by the national level steering group to invest as they see best.
This investment would still be administered by the Environment Agency but might fund further support for catchment partnership leads/facilitators; enhancing the planned central training; or, to develop further tools such as, a visual catchment representation or cost benefit analysis tools to facilitate further engagement and action. ‘
The objectives for the Catchment Based Approach are:
- To deliver positive and sustained outcomes for the water environment by promoting a better understanding of the environment at a local level; and
- To encourage local collaboration and more transparent decision-making when both planning and delivering activities to improve the water environment.