HOW TO HELP THE VER

We’ve had hundreds of comments and questions asked on Facebook and twitter after our recent posts highlighting the terrible state of the Ver with its very low flows and dying brown trout. So to help provide some answers we held a swiftly organised Public Questions & Answer Session on Saturday 20th July, after our weekend work party in the river.

Whether you were there or not, there’s more you can do…

THINGS YOU CAN DO TO HELP THE VER

  1. Lobby your local MP – there’s a Chalk Streams in Crisis debate in Parliament on Monday 22nd July – ask them to be there and tell them how poor a state the Ver is in. Most of the Ver is covered by bim.afolami.mp@parliament.uk, maina@parliament.uk or penningm@parliament.uk
  2. Join the Ver Valley Society to combine all our efforts effectively https://www.riverver.co.uk/join-us/
  3. Write/Email to Affinity Water asking for publicity for water saving messages and a hosepipe ban in our area: complaints.central@affinitywater.co.uk
  4. Write/Email to Environment Agency asking for publicity for water saving messages and a hosepipe ban in our area enquiries@environment-agency.gov.uk
  5. Use social media to show how much we love the Ver – use  #RiverVer to post photos of your interests and activities near the river, old photos, then & now etc (we can suggest some key people to tag in). We are @VerValleySoc on Facebook, twitter and Instagram
  6. Come and help at the monthly VVS work parties – do your bit for the river we do have
  7. Use water wisely and save as much as you can
  8. Look our for leaks. In dry weather they are easy to see – report to Affinity Water (0800 376 5325) and post photos on social media. We would prefer the water in the Ver than running down the road!
  9. If you have some time to spare, join our lobbying work group to bring a change to Government’s interpretation of what’s acceptable damage to do to the environment in the name of public water supply
  10. Visit/explore our website RiverVer.co.uk for a wealth of information about the Ver.
  11. If all else fails and you have specific questions or requests,  email our Chairman John Pritchard: johnp@riverver.co.uk

Unfortunately there is no magic solution to getting the water back in the Ver this summer. There are some things that Affinity Water and the Environment Agency could have done to delay the process – like increasing publicity with water saving messages and threatening a hosepipe ban – even now that could help recovery.

The main effort has to be influence Government to change policy. Yes, some of the decline of the Ver is due to climate change and a run of dry weather but much of it is to do with how much water is taken from the Ver Valley for public water supply.

Dead brown trout at Shafford
A trickle in Verulamium Park
Sewage in the dry Kingsbury Mill Stream