Government persuaded to give more protection to chalk streams

Following a long campaign of lobbying by campaigners headed by Angling Trust Ambassador Charles Rangeley-Wilson, the government has agreed to undertake to provide protection for chalk streams in The Levelling Up Bill.

The Bill was debated in the House of Lords (Wednesday, 18 July) and after a number of passionate speeches and cross-party support the Minister for DEFRA Lord Benyon agreed to bring forward an amendment tabled by Lord Trenchard to provide the required protection for chalk streams which are currently under particular threat due to abstraction and pollution. This will be the first time specific protection for chalk streams will be written into UK law.

In his comments afterwards, Charles Rangeley-Wilson thanked the Angling Trust Head of Campaigns Stuart Singleton-White for his “invaluable help” in the long campaign to persuade the government of the need to protect chalk streams further.

Sir Oliver Heald, MP for North East Hertfordshire, commented:

“I am delighted that Lord Trenchard has had this great success in persuading the Government to put the protection of chalk streams in planning on a statutory footing. I also pay tribute to campaigners such as Charles Rangeley-Wilson and Nikki Da Costa for their help and briefing.”

Martin Salter, Angling Trust Head of Policy, added:

“For those of us who’ve spent long years campaigning for special protection to be given to the unique chalk stream environments that exist mainly in England it is gratifying to see the government finally waking up and accepting that they need far greater protection than is currently the case. Far too many of these precious habitats for fish and other wildlife have been sucked dry by over abstraction or destroyed by both agricultural and sewage pollution.”

Read the full debate

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