The work of the Water Environment team fulfils a pledge from the water supplier to go above and beyond regulatory requirements to support projects that benefit customers and the environment.
A total of 30.2km of water environment has been improved in the first year, with 41.5km planned for year 2, and the team is now working on plans for the following 3 years to 2025.
Focusing on locations where people can enjoy areas around water, via public rights of way, the company asked customers and environmental experts to suggest places that could benefit from biodiversity, access, and water quality improvements.
It then assessed these suggestions alongside research and surveys into other environmental improvements and worked in partnership with a wide range of environmental stakeholders to drive, support and deliver the initiative’s first four projects.
The company’s Water Environment scheme is also supporting SeaScapes, the first National Lottery Heritage Fund Landscape Partnership, which will be investing £4m in the coastline between the rivers Tyne and Tees over the next four years. As a key SeaScapes partner, Northumbrian Water is hosting a Beach Care Officer, Louise Harrington, who will help to identify coastal improvements, as well as driving customer engagement and volunteering activity.
Mike Madine, Head of Wastewater Service Planning, Quality and Performance Transformation at Northumbrian Water, said: “Establishing our Water Environment team and our pledge to go above and beyond regulatory requirements on supporting improvements to the water environment was a statement of intent, and a demonstration of our passion for, and commitment to, the environment.
“To actually start seeing the results come through in the first year is really exciting, because it shows we are delivering on this commitment and it sets the stage for the coming years.
“We’ve worked with a wide range of partners and stakeholders across the four projects, as well as in our work with SeaScapes. We know that we can make a bigger and longer-lasting impact for the environment when working together than any of us can alone, and this sets the tone for how we intend to keep working.”