HL Deb 15 November 2004 vol 666 cc124-5WA
Lord Fearn

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What plans they have to enhance environmentally the Ribble estuary in north-west England. [HL4751]

Lord Whitty

RSPB, English Nature, Environment Agency and local authorities in the north-west are promoting a Ribble estuary regional park to examine the long-term viability of environmental enhancement throughout the estuary. This includes improving defences, creating habitat areas, establishing visitor centres and improving recreation.

The Environment Agency has also undertaken a managed realignment study of the estuary to examine the suitability of a number of sites for potential managed realignment.

The Ribble estuary falls within the Ribble pilot river basin, the UK's pilot for implementation of the Water Framework Directive. This directive requires a strategic, river basin-based approach to managing water bodies and improving their ecological and chemical status. As part of the pilot the Environment Agency will be working closely with stakeholders, to develop a prototype river basin management plan for the Ribble basin, including the Ribble estuary.

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