Shropshire Star

Shropshire residents invited to have their say on the future of the River Severn

The Environment Agency has invited Shropshire residents to have their say on the future of the River Severn.

The River Severn in Bridgnorth

Nearly 6,000 homes in the catchment area will receive a letter from the Environment Agency this week inviting them to join a new Citizens’ Panel.

The Citizens' Panel will give people the opportunity to discuss water management, as well as climate change impacts in the area, and help create a positive future for the river and its tributaries.

Marc Lidderth, place manager and River Severn Partnership lead for the Environment Agency said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for those who live near to the River Severn and its tributaries to help inform the plans of the Environment Agency, Natural Resources Wales (Cyfoeth Naturiol Cymru), and other local partners to meet the challenge of extreme weather events and their impact.

“We want to hear from a diverse range of local people across the catchment on their personal views about climate change, the impacts of severe weather and to share their lived experience.

"I look forward to hearing what the panel has to say to build recommendations for how we tackle the climate challenges we face."

The River Severn is the longest river in Britain and plays an integral part in the lives of those who live around it.

It is a haven for wildlife, an essential transport route, a place for leisure activities and a vital source of water for people living and working in its catchment.

But it faces increasing challenges in the form of more frequent floods and droughts, which has led to the Environment Agency, Natural Resources Wales (Cyfoeth Naturiol Cymru) and the River Severn Partnership working together to gather residents’ opinions.

The Citizens’ Panel is looking for 20 participants across the area in England and Wales and their recommendations will be shared with all three partners to inform future decision-making.

Registrations are open until Sunday, October 8 and details are included in the letter that randomly selected households have received.

Participants don’t need any prior knowledge but need to be willing to commit to a total of 12 hours over several workshops.