MP Robert Largan meets Severn Trent River Rangers in Buxton

9th August 2023

River health was top of the agenda when Severn Trent’s River Rangers met with a local MP in Derbyshire to discuss their important work across the region.

Robert Largan, MP for the High Peak, was given the opportunity to hear about the rangers’ role in improving river health and boosting biodiversity, as well as Severn Trent’s Get River Positive scheme, during his recent visit to Buxton.

Since being formed last year, the rangers have clocked up almost 200 meetings with organisations and groups involved in the region’s river network – including Wildlife Trusts, local parishes, boating clubs and community groups.

They have also carried out vital monitoring and sampling activities, with more than 5,000 inspections and collections at various locations in the area. And they have removed hundreds of tonnes of debris, plastics and unflushables from watercourses.

A team of ten rangers cover the Severn Trent region, working closely with partners to improve river health and educate customers to prevent wipes and sanitary products from reaching rivers.

Robert Largan MP said: “It was great to spend the day with the River Rangers. It was also really positive that the tests showed the water quality in the Wye was excellent. The River Rangers are an important initiative for improving water quality and protecting our rivers.

“I am passionate about protecting our rivers and waterways. I’ll keep working closely with the River Rangers and Severn Trent to improve our local environment.”

River Rangers operate across all Severn Trent regions, carrying out vital operational activities, which allows the water company to understand the quality of river in its region better than ever before, and what’s needed to protect and improve them.

Senior River Ranger Luke McCusker said: “We were happy to welcome Robert and discuss our Get River Positive schemes, which in their first year of inception have had great results. We were also able to show him some of the important work that the teams undertake as rangers, highlighting how we engage with customers and explain how we’re tackling some common problems we see from the riverbanks such as unflushables entering the sewer network.

“We really enjoy arranging visits for the local community, as we are able to explain all that we do at Severn Trent to improve river health from the banks of our region’s beautiful rivers.”

River Rangers were formed as part of the water company’s Get River Positive scheme, which in its first year, has reduced its operational impact on rivers by one third. The water company has also completed the installation of 100% of monitor coverage across the region.   

Severn Trent’s five pledges are underpinned by a range of measures and metrics developed with partners and stakeholders, addressing customers’ concerns and taking a leading role in ensuring the region’s rivers are as healthy as possible.