The Hexham Courant published an article about the Tyne Catchment project this week.
The article told local people that the project would give them a chance to have a say in the future of the Tyne.
The article read:
“During 2012, the people of the River Tyne catchment will have a unique opportunity to contribute their views on how to improve the Tyne and to create a new Master Plan for the management of the entire catchment. The process will provide a fantastic opportunity for individuals and groups to get river improvements (including their own local projects) into the public spending programme for river improvements beginning in 2015.
Local environmental charity, the Tyne Rivers Trust (TRT), known for its pioneering educational and grass-roots achievements in improving the Tyne and its tributaries, has been nationally recognised by Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), appointing it to host an experiment in public consultation to identify what is needed to improve river quality and ecology.
Alongside its established partners (notably the Environment Agency), TRT will be conducting, during 2012, a far-reaching consultation with all relevant stakeholders about what their river means to them, its problems and pressures and how these can be alleviated by both Government and ‘Big Society’ actions.
A web-site has already been opened (access via www.tyneriverstrust.org) to permit the widest possible stakeholder engagement. ‘It’s your Tyne’ will be the theme of meetings, web media and a ‘Key Stakeholder Forum’ will be established. TRT Chairman, Andrew Davison said, ‘This recognition of TRT as proven, responsible pioneers, also confers considerable responsibility. We will use the networks and trust built up over the last seven years to empower the people of the Tyne catchment to have a real say in the future of the whole river network. We have outstanding technical capacity in the form of our four river scientists and our new specialist catchment planner to assist the process and to ensure its scientific validity.’
Professor Malcolm Newson, Director of TRT, welcomed the opportunity to put into practice his ideas on catchment planning, which he pioneered in books and highly regarded scientific papers as an academic. He said, ‘I was first attracted to TRT by the outstanding 2006 Strategic Action Plan it produced for the river. I look forward to refreshing all those passionate and informed ideas within the new Catchment Plan. The magnificent salmon fishery of the Tyne is but one example of what rivers in ‘Good Ecological Status’ can yield for us all: the Tyne has made excellent progress in the last thirty years but still faces pressures from competing user requirements, from metals, silt, urban diffuse pollution and farm wastes.
‘The catchment approach forces us all to look upstream to see what might be impacting on where we live and then look downstream to understand our responsibility for the river we hand on to those below us in the system.’”