Saving the Severn - Top Ten Tips

River Severn (c) Steve BloomfieldRiver Severn (c) Steve Bloomfield

There are some things that we can all do to help the River Severn and other water courses throughout the county...

  1. If you use a septic tank ensure that it is functioning efficiently. During walks of the Bow Brook the Wildlife Trust and Environment Agency have found several failing systems feeding directly into the brook.
  2. Ensure any oil tank is bunded so that if you do have a leak it cannot enter a water system. Even if you are not directly on a river your drains may lead pollution directly into the waterbody.
  3. Report any pollution incident to the Environment Agency on their incident hotline 0800 80 70 60
  4. Phosphates are one of the main reasons watercourses in the River Severn Basin are failing under the Water Framework Directive. Washing and dishwasher powders contain a large amount of phosphates - sewage treatment works do not have to clean them from water unless the plant has a large urban population.  Try to use washing powders where phosphates have been replaced with alternatives.
  5. Collection of litter in the R Stour (c) Andy HarrisDon’t litter. (pic shows litter collecting in the River Stour)
  6. If you have cattle/horses/sheep close to the river, please install drinkers with a hard base or fence to reduce pollution in the water.
  7. A surprisingly large number of households have washing machines/dishwashers etc (often in an extension) that have been mistakenly plumbed into the wrong drain - please make sure your water goes into the dirty/foul water drain and not your surface water run-off (ie where your down pipes go).
  8. The tributaries of the River Severn suffer from invasive plants, particularly Himalayan Balsam. If you own a stretch of any of our water courses please remove it before it seeds. If you have a pond, please do not transfer plants/fish into brooks as it only takes a small piece of plant to quickly establish itself and threaten native wildlife.
  9. Please contact Worcestershire Wildlife Trust if you own a stretch of the following brooks: Bow/Shrawley/Dowles/Piddle/Badsey/Leigh as we are working here this year.
  10. We undertake work on the watercourses around the county on and off reserves, if you are interested in volunteering please get in touch!