§ 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 125WA develop a prototype river basin management plan for the Ribble basin, including the Ribble estuary.