RSPB issues water plea

THE RSPB wants residents to ‘Step Up for Nature’ and help river wildlife by reducing water consumption at home and at work.

The conservation charity is concerned water levels in rivers such as the Ouse and Rother are at the very bottom of the normal ranges for this time of year.

Many birds, mammals, fish and insects feed and produce offspring in ponds, streams and rivers. But they are often left high and dry due to over-abstraction of river water, especially during periods of low rainfall.

Steve Gilbert, RSPB South East conservation program manager, said, “It’s easy to forget when there isn’t a hose-pipe ban that rivers are still running low, and river wildlife is still suffering. That water is being piped from a river or an aquifer which may be running low or in extreme cases may even have stopped flowing.”

The RSPB says people turn off the tap while brushing their teeth, wash fruit and vegetables in a bowl instead of under the tap, and reuse water in a flowerbed or window box.