Mark lloyd

CEOs Newsletter: Mark’s Update

For January’s newsletter, our Chief Exec, Mark Lloyd, gives a preview of what’s on the horizon for 2022. From our Catchment Monitoring Cooperative, nature-based solutions and the Riverscapes partnerships — Mark is feeling optimistic despite the challenges highlighted by the recent environmental audit committee report.

Jake Coleman


We live in uncertain times and the global challenges of biodiversity loss and climate change loom over us, but I am starting 2022 full of hope. River health has never been so high on the political agenda and I have never known so many different sectors as resolute in their ambition to restore our environment to good health as they are now.

I’m particularly excited that 2022 will see our Catchment Monitoring Co-operative spring into action, demonstrating how a solid evidence base can drive consensus, coherent planning and investment in delivery. The Rivers Trust will also be seeking up to £10m in funding this year to support a similarly strategic demonstration programme of investment in nature-based solutions from 2023 onwards. Our Riverscapes partnership with the National Trust and Woodland Trust has begun work supporting the planting of 3,150 hectares of trees alongside rivers throughout England, building resilience to climate change and biodiversity loss. We are also continuing to deliver innovative green finance projects which are exciting candidates to scale up throughout the UK and Ireland.

All very exciting. However, several recent media stories have picked up on on the impossible position of our environmental regulator in recent weeks after the Environment Agency made it clear that it does not have the resources even to investigate minor pollution incidents. We need this spotlight on its failings to lead to a reversal of the last decade’s cuts to the Agency’s funding and independence. We work very closely with EA staff, most of whom are as passionate and committed to the environment as any of us. They need the funding and freedom to do their job properly, otherwise all the good work we do in the Rivers Trust movement could be undone by unchecked pollution.

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