Living Rivers

Clean and healthy water is essential to the wellbeing of the fantastic wildlife in and around our rivers.

We have all done a great job cleaning up heavy industrial pollution but, in many of our watery places, less obvious and sometimes invisible problems lurk under the surface. Our Living Rivers campaign endeavours to stop our waters suffering from a lack of understanding and protection - and kick-start their revival!


Helping our rivers breathe

We are focussed on tackling the most common culprits holding our rivers back from their full potential. Two of these - excess fine sediments and too much of a nutrient called phosphorus - have a significant effect by clogging up riverbeds and, as we have recently discovered, directly impair reproduction of river bugs.

Learn more about phosphorus and sediment in ‘Know Your River’.

The good news is, that under the right conditions, our rivers have an astounding ability to bounce back. It is up to us, (and you!) to find out what these conditions are and influence decision makers and river users to make sure we are meeting them.


Our pilot river - the Itchen

Agriculture and us

Tackling inputs like soil, fertiliser and slurry from farming is key for living rivers in England and Wales.

We believe a future where farmers are rewarded for achieving environmental outcomes is possible.

Science archive

Make the actions necessary to let life back into our rivers a reality

Does your favourite watery place need a bit of TLC? Invest in the evidence you need to inspire action that can clean up your stretch.

Just £20 supports the running and analysis of continuous daily in-river water samplers and a report detailing what is holding your river back that can be a catalyst for better protection on your stretch. £1000 allows us to be your voice and lobby to government agencies, driving actions to kick start revival of your river.