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We care about water

Friday, 19 August 2011 15:59

Sunset over the Thames at Swinford Sunset over the Thames at Swinford Photo: © Jane Tomlinson

We are very conscious of how important water is as a creator and conserver of our cherished landscape and natural world. The stress and damage caused by drought or flood are self evident.

Oxfordshire is dominated by the upper reaches of the River Thames.

In 1929 John Buchan, a founder and first President of the Oxfordshire branch of CPRE, wrote the preface to The Thames valley from Cricklade to Staines. He starts by pointing out that “though it has been a theatre of history, the Thames valley has changed its character less, perhaps, than any other river system in the populous parts of this island. We have in it therefore something which has preserved into our day many of the visible characteristics of an older England”.

Human development over the past 80 years has left its mark, but it is as true now as when Buchan wrote, that “there are still reaches of the Thames and its tributaries which are the same as when the monks of Eynsham caught the Friday’s trout in their waters, and where ‘he that wishes solitude is safe’”.

Dry winters, wet winters, washout summers, droughts and floods. We’ve had it all in recent years and Oxfordshire has been badly hit. Water abstraction from our rivers cause them in some case to stop flowing altogether; a disaster for wildlife.

Sustainable use of our water resources, the protection of our river systems and ground water reserves are the highest priority to CPRE.

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