Our 2024 action plan

The Clean River Kent Campaign will focus on the following priorities for 2024:

Continue our citizen science programme by completing the nutrient testing programme with Freshwater Watch and the Microbial Source Tracking Project with the University of Sheffield.

Apply to Defra for a second time for bathing water status at a stretch of the river Kent, including Sandy Bottoms in Kendal. We plan to work with local councils and other partners to submit the strongest possible application. We also aim to show that current Defra guidelines are not suited to applications for most upland rivers such as the river Kent.

Ensure that the importance of the health of our local rivers is understood and addressed by Parliamentary candidates in the General Election, including by organising a husting to which all candidates will be invited, and by briefing local stakeholders and communities on the issues.

Develop a new programme of engagement with the river. This will be a creative venture that will reflect both the emotional attachment that many people have to the river Kent, and the benefits which a river can bring for both mental and physical health. We hope to work closely with youth and schools as part of this programme.

Continue to engage actively with our stakeholders – all those individuals and organisations who have responsibilities to improve the health of the river, our local communities, those who represent us, and those with expertise and experience in river health – to achieve our vision.

Hold relevant events and talks, including septic tank management Q&A session and a river clean-up event in partnership with the kayaking community from Staveley to Burneside.

We’ll amplify our messages with a strengthened communications strategy, building on our successes to date in securing TV, radio and print coverage of the campaign.

We’ll review progress through the year, ensuring that problems are resolved, key opportunities are taken, and that we use our resources as effectively as possible.