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Ceredigion communities encouraged to “adopt” their local rivers

The Ystwyth River

Communities across Ceredigion are being invited to “adopt” streams to improve biodiversity and community connection to their local river, in an initiative led by West Wales Rivers Trust (WWRT).

Adopt a Tributary Ceredigion is funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, supported by the Levelling Up Campaign and delivered by Ceredigion County Council.

The initiative seeks to improve the condition of the rivers of Ceredigion, stretching from the Afon Clarach and Afon Rheidol catchments in the North to the Afon Teifi in the South, by supporting and training communities to become the eyes, ears, and voices for local rivers.

Large numbers of tributaries are important for fish spawning and nursery areas and for a huge variety of other wildlife including birds and otters; but due a variety of factors including acidification, pollution, barriers to fish migration, littering and general habitat degradation means they are often not as healthy as they could be. Their restoration is essential to improve biodiversity and water quality. Rivers are also important for human communities for a variety of reasons and this project will ensure current and future generations can enjoy rivers safely.

Councillor Clive Davies, Ceredigion’s Cabinet Member for Economy and Regeneration, supports the initiative. He said: “Adopt groups carry out everything from simply informing WWRT of issues and opportunities while out walking along their river, to litter picks, wildlife surveys, water quality monitoring and even working with landowners to undertake in-stream habitat restoration. WWRT will provide the training, support, equipment and health and safety guidance to help communities achieve their goals.

“The project is already working with local communities to tackle many of the problems that are affecting these streams, and WWRT is looking to increase the number of groups actively involved to ensure as many of Ceredigion’s streams as possible are cared for.”

Joe Wilkins, Ceredigion Community Engagement Officer for West Wales Rivers Trust, said: “It’s hard to think about Ceredigion without thinking about the hundreds of miles of rivers and streams that bring so much life to the county. Our rivers are under threat from a combination of sources and it’s easy to feel powerless. The Adopt a Tributary projects seeks to bring communities together to improve the health of West Wales’ rivers.

We’re looking to work with any schools, local businesses, unions, farming groups, community groups, councils, and individuals who want to play a more active role in protecting and restoring Ceredigion’s fantastic rivers.”

Anyone who is interested in adopting a tributary in Ceredigion should email Joe on [email protected].