Urgent water restrictions needed to protect ‘dying’ chalk streams, say rivers groups

England’s rare and fragile chalk streams are in such a stressed state that water restrictions should urgently be put in place to protect them, according to a group of 12 rivers and wildlife organisations.

The group, which includes the Angling Trust, the Wild Trout Trust, Chilterns Chalk Streams Project and the Rivers and Wildlife Trusts, says that river levels and groundwater supplies are now so depleted that the freshwater ecosystems are “quite simply dying from a lack of water”.

England has 85% of the world’s chalk streams, with most of these in the south-east, but three consecutive dry years have taken their toll, according to the group, which is calling for immediate action to “avert fish kills and longer term environmental damage”.

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