Natural Course discuss long-term solutions for the water environment with new Defra minister

In September, Natural Course Programme Manager Dave Marshall joined colleagues from the Environment Agency and the Canal and Rivers Trust to meet with Trudy Harrison MP – the newly appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in Defra.

The meeting took place at Toddbrook Reservoir (the site where, following intense heavy rainfall in 2019, damage to spillway triggered a major incident) and was an opportunity for the Minister to see first-hand some of the repair work happening and learn more about how the different organisations respond to incidents.

Dave Marshall said…

“Responding to incidents is critically important, however it is also essential that we are looking at underlying causes and finding solutions that will prevent or reduce the impact of events occurring in the first place.

It was great to have the opportunity meet the Minister and highlight the need to be investing more resource into longer-term, landscape scale solutions that will have multiple benefits for people, the environment and the economy. And by multiple benefits, I mean the four cornerstones of water environment – flood resilience, drought resilience, increased biodiversity, and improved water quality.

For example, we need to be investing more in ‘nature-based solutions’ that will hold water in the catchment for longer – and this needs to be done now and at scale – in rural and urban areas.

Working in partnership will be critical to make this happen, as there is no one organisation who has the capacity and resource alone.  Natural Course has proven that working in collaboration results in bigger, better and longer-term improvements for the water environment, and we encourage others to take this approach.”