Simon Evans – The state of our rivers and what can be done about it

September 28, 2023

A truly captivating talk by rivers expert and environmental scientist, Simon Evans, delighted an audience comprised of staff, students, and members of the public this week.

Simon, who serves as the CEO of The Wye and Usk Foundation, a charity with a passionate mission to restore the habitat, water quality, and fisheries of the rivers Wye and Usk, shared his insights with us. He delved into the historical challenges faced by the river Wye back in the 1890s, discussing the innovative methods that have been employed to aid its recovery.

These efforts encompassed addressing acidity issues, introducing fishing passports, removing weirs, reinstating gravel to create invertebrate habitats for fish to feed upon, re-establishing vegetation, curbing soil loss, researching spawning salmon, collaborating with supply chains, farmers, companies (including supermarkets), and increasing the efficiency of government support.

The talk, hosted in the Monmouth School for Boys’ library, touched upon a wide array of topics, from climate change to spring rainfall, droughts, regulations, flooding, and flood risks. Simon’s presentation was nothing short of inspiring and thought-provoking, as he expertly illustrated how these issues impact all of us.

Simon Evans delivers a captivating talk within our library

Arthur NB, a Year 13 student who attended the talk, remarked, “I thought the talk was incredibly passionate and presented how important our rivers are to not only the environment but also communities and the economy. Simon stated how careful we must be with our rivers and that the solutions are taking action and not turning any blind eyes.”

Head of School, Ollie L, added, “Simon Evans’ talk cast light on the complexity of issues our local rivers face, and it was sobering to see how they have been damaged by mismanagement. However, the talk also illustrated that there are layered solutions to these issues which will be both environmentally and economically beneficial for everyone, providing hope for the future.”

For those interested in learning more about The Wye and Usk Foundation and supporting their noble cause, please don’t hesitate to click here. Your contributions can make a significant difference.