The first Chalkstream Champion award has been presented to Affinity Water in Hertfordshire for its commitment to dramatically reduce water abstraction from the River’s Mimram, Beane and Ver, which in the past had stopped flowing completely.
The award was presented to Richard Bienfait, Chief Executive of Affinity Water, at a ceremony on the River Chess in Hertfordshire by Charles Walker MP, who is a member of the All Party Parliamentary Angling Group, and Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust and Fish Legal.
Richard Bienfait, Chief Executive of Affinity Water said: “I am delighted to receive this award. It demonstrates our commitment to protecting these precious chalk streams.”
Charles Walker MP said: “Richard and Affinity Water are to be congratulated for taking a serious and considered approach to their environmental responsibilities.”
Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust and Fish Legal said: “It is a delight to be able to present an award to a water company for doing the right thing by helping over-abstracted chalk streams flow once again and bringing life to back to Hertfordshire’s river valleys. We hope that this award will inspire other companies to take up the challenge of restoring our rivers to good health.”
The awards have been created by the Chalkstream Charter, which is a collaboration between the Angling Trust, The Rivers Trust, Salmon & Trout Association, The Wildlife Trusts and WWF-UK to campaign for better protection for England’s chalk streams.
England has 85 per cent of the world’s 200 chalk streams - some of the most highly prized stretches of river for fishing and attract visitors from around the world. However, many are suffering from endemic pollution, groundwater abstraction and habitat damage. The Charter aims to drive forward restoration of these rare and precious rivers.