Rights of Rivers reaches the Summit

What an incredible day we all had on 24th November learning about Rights of Nature and the opportunities it holds to turn the tide on the health of our rivers! We couldn’t be happier with how it went. We are in awe and utter appreciation of everyone’s contributions on the day.

The morning was full of talks delving into the Rights of Nature movement from Global, National and to the local exploring opportunities developing for the Ouse. Amazing speakers included Mika Peck from University of Sussex, Barrister Monica Feria-Tinta, Dr Neil Williams – University of Roehampton, Peter King – Ouse and Adur Rivers Trust, Councillor Emily O’Brien, Ben Taylor – Iford Estate, Henri Brocklebank Sussex Wildlife Trust, Councillor Matthew Bird, Emma Montlake¬† – Environmental Law Foundation.

After a guided tour of the Winterbourne Stream to the Ouse everyone took part in an intense carousel of workshops on key themes:
What legal mechanisms are available?
What does a Rights of River Charter look like?
Who speaks for the River?
Who to engage with and how?

We saw incredible turn out and contributions from representatives including  Lewes District Council, South East Water, Southern Water, Environment Agency, Policy Lab, Hogan Lovells, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, Essex Wildlife Trust, Moral Imaginations, Lawyers for Nature, The Phoenix Project РHuman Nature, Southdown National Park, The Southwood Foundation, Up Sewage Creek, Arun and Rother Rivers Trust, Lewes Rowing Club and more!

Other rivers represented on the day included the Rother, Arun, Medway, Severn, Don, Dart, Adur and Thames.

We are working hard to process all the input, thoughts and advice we received. We will publicly report on outputs, publish the presentations and will incorporate contributions from the day towards the ambitious work in progress with the development of the Sussex Ouse Charter in the New Year.

A huge thank you to Kings College and Sussex Uni students for facilitating the afternoon workshops.
Thank you Railway Land Wildlife Trust & Ouse Valley Climate Action and the Big Lottery for all your support!

Read more about the Summit in this blog written by Lawyers for Nature.

All Summit photos by the wonderful Willie Robb