This week we’re really excited to announce the continuation of our partnership with Coca-Cola in Great Britain. Over the next 3 years we’ll be scaling up our work to secure a brighter future for English rivers and our precious chalk streams.
We started working together back in 2012 and have already achieved some impressive results that I covered in my previous blog about Coca-Cola. Under the next phase of our partnership we’ll be doing more work with farmers to ensure they’re managing their land sustainably and protecting local water sources. Alongside this we’re planning to engage local communities, other companies and policy makers to take action for the freshwater environment.
Personally I’m looking forward to spending a bit more time in and around the rivers we’re trying to support. It’s been great to connect with these special places and to learn more about the natural world that they support. We’ll be sharing more information about the new programme soon and whilst we put the finishing touches to plans I thought it would be good to mark this new venture by celebrating some of the unique wetland species and furry friends we have in Britain. I hope you enjoy the photographs – just like people, the creatures above thrive when our chalk streams and rivers are healthy. Otters are amphibious members of the weasel family, with large lungs that allow them to stay under water for four minutes. They’re excellent swimmers and can outrun man on land. Otters were on the brink of extinction in the 1960s due to river pollution, habitat loss and hunting but are now making a comeback, but need clean rivers.
©77dmj, 2007, via Flickr Creative Commons Water voles are sadly the fastest declining mammal in the UK, due in part to habitat loss. They need to eat 80% of their body weight every day in order to survive. They are territorial and mark their homes with piles of green droppings. They also eat near the water’s edge and leave the plant remains in neat piles.
© Craig Jones, 2009, via Flickr Creative Commons Water shrews have a very fast metabolism and voracious appetites. They hunt anything from worms and beetles, to frogs and small fish. Their saliva contains toxic venom which stuns their prey. Despite their tiny size they can dive up to 75cm. Shrews live on average for just 19 months.
©Martin Swatton, 2010, via Flickr Creative Commons Harvest mice are the smallest rodents in Europe, weighing roughly the same as a 2p coin. Numbers have declined rapidly since the 1970s, but are still strong in East Anglia due to its lowland arable landscape and river valleys. They make their nests in rough grass on arable field margins and wet areas such as reed beds and river edges.
©Lynn Griffiths, via Flickr Creative Commons