River given new lease of life

Left to right: Doug Kennedy, chairman of Save The River Thame, Jon Baines, web site editor, Keith McCullough, board member, Sally Rowlands, River Thame Conservation Trust secretery and Robert Campbell, chairman of the River Thame Conservation Trust

Left to right: Doug Kennedy, chairman of Save The River Thame, Jon Baines, web site editor, Keith McCullough, board member, Sally Rowlands, River Thame Conservation Trust secretery and Robert Campbell, chairman of the River Thame Conservation Trust

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Two environmental groups which joined forces to increase the amount of wildlife in the River Thame say they are seeing real improvements.

Save the River Thame (SRT) teamed up with the River Thame Conservation Trust in the wake of the sewerage spill in the summer of 2013, which killed much of the river’s fish and wildlife.

Save the River Thame covers the section running from Thame to Aylesbury, while the River Thame Conservation Trust looks after the stretch from Thame to Dorchester.

They oversee a team of volunteer water monitors who test the water clarity on a monthly basis to check for nitrates (mostly caused by farm fertilizers), phosphates (from fertilizer or sewage).

Work on an interactive website is also in progress with the aim of bringing visitors into the area to enjoy the wildlife in the future.

The organisations have also been working with landowners along the river’s banks to find ways of involving them in the work, and it appears all the hard work is paying off.

Doug Kennedy, chairman of Save the River Thame, said: “I went for a run the other day in one of the fields and saw kingfishers and a crested grebe, which has a very handsome head.

“I’ve never seen one of those before, and it means there are small fish in the river, which is great news. After what happened in 2013, it went dead.”

Follow the progress on Twitter by following @riverthame1 or visit www.doug-kennedy.com