Corporate supports Litter Boat project

Finding funding for projects can be a huge challenge. There are a lot of businesses who would like to be seen to be supporting environmental projects, but the harsh reality is that the more they can gain, the more they're likely to invest. So we need to demonstrate that projects such as this are worth their while.

That's why we are asking for your help, taking only 3 minutes of your time, to prove to big businesses that it's great for them to support valuable environmental projects.
Sponsored by Morgan Sindall, the Irwell Pride Litter Boat re-launched on 2nd December with Morgan Sindall offering up to £2,000 of vouchers to pay for the litter boat and the more vouchers redeemed, the more funding the litter boat will be able to access.

To help out, all you need to do is:
√ Go to
√ You will be emailed a unique code as a URL / web link (please check your Junk mail).
√ Click on the link or put it in your browser and hit the 'Use Code' button at the bottom left hand side of the web page

√ Then, Morgan Sindall will donate £1 towards the Litter Boat.
Please spread the word by sharing the link with colleagues, friends and family, promote the project using the social media buttons that you'll see on the project web page. The more people that engage, the more evidence we produce that people care and businesses should care too.
Watch @downstreamsCIC on Twitter for footage of the #LitterBoat launch on 2nd December.

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Call of Nature Project Launch

The Mersey Rivers Trust in partnership with the Environment Agency has launched a project to raise awareness of the risks to local rivers of             poorly-maintained off-mains sewage systems.

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The project will focus on engaging communities within the Alt/Crossens Catchment which covers Ormskirk, Maghull, Formby and Southport.
Poorly maintained septic tanks, cesspits and package sewage treatment plants may pollute local rivers causing an increase in harmful chemicals and therefore decline in fish and plant populations.
Call of Nature aims to locate the stretches of river at greatest risk of pollution and, with help from local communities, reduce the amount of waste material ending up in our rivers.
For more information, visit   http://www.callofnature.infoCall of Nature

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Natural Course: LIFE Integrated Project 

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An integrated approach to water management is set for the North West of England. Natural Course is a ground-breaking collaborative water management project which brings together catchment partnerships across the North West along with the Environment Agency, Natural England, United Utilities, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the Rivers Trust.

Natural Course is the first LIFE Integrated Project (IP) in the UK and aims to tackle the issues and challenges presented by the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD). Innovative approaches and techniques will be trialled which together will improve water management in the river catchments of North West England.

Current estimates suggest that under half of our waters are good enough to meet European standards or that they will achieve good status by 2027. The need for action in NW England is pressing as one third of the poorest quality rivers in England and Wales lie in the region. Meanwhile, long-standing partnerships and relationships developed in the NW River Basin District provide the ideal context for the enhanced integrated working associated with the Natural Course project. Meanwhile, especially in the urban areas, significant numbers of properties are at risk of flooding. These challenges and the strong record of partnership working in the North West provide the ideal basis for Natural Course.

Initially, Natural Course will bring organisations together and build capacity to deliver integrated water management solutions. The project partners will collaborate to deliver a series of innovative projects aimed at tackling issues such as diffuse pollution from urban and rural sources and reducing the risk of flood.
Wherever possible solutions which attract new sources of funding and which draw on and enhance Natural Capital will be used. A virtual cross-sector team is being established to focus initially on the River Irwell to liaise closely with planners to ensure that opportunities for integrated water management and Natural Capital enhancement are considered during the development of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework and other city-region strategies.The Natural Course project partners are currently assembling a broad range of data and evidence to guide actions across the catchments within the NW River Basin District.

Natural Course is led by the Environment Agency, recognised by the European Commission as the Co-ordinating Beneficiary, working together with four Associated Beneficiaries: Salford City Council as the lead authority for the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, The Rivers Trust, United Utilities Ltd and Natural England.

Natural Course supports and builds on the Catchment Based Approach (CaBA) at the local level and the Beneficiaries will work closely with the Government-recognised catchment hosts including the Mersey Rivers Trust. Natural Course will run for 10 years, 2015 to 2025, and will be divided into four 2.5 year phases. The first phase of the project covers the period 1st October 2015 to 31st March 2018 when the River Irwell catchment is the focus.

The total project budget is just over €20M. The EU LIFE programme will contribute almost €12M, or 60% of the total eligible budget. The budget is focused on the first phase in order to kick-start and stimulate the new integrated approach to water management. Detailed budgets are prepared at the start of each phase, rather than for the full 10-years of the programme. The total budget for the first phase is €8.5M; €5M from EU LIFE.