The River People Tour visits Lewes to celebrate and learn about the Ouse

The second stop on the River People tour from Love Our Ouse was an event in Barcombe with around 400 people turning up to celebrate, learn, and act for the Ouse.
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There was a packed line-up of stalls, talks and activities at Barcombe Village Hall on Saturday, January 27. Stalls included information on all aspects of the river from the Ouse and Adur Rivers Trust, Love Our Ouse, Isfield Angling Club, Barcombe Community Wildlife Group, Environment Agency, South East Water, Don’t Urbanise Hamsey, Wilder Life and more.

Matthew Bird, Love Our Ouse Director, said: “People care passionately about the river and have a deep connection with particular locations. So it is no surprise when they feel angry and powerless about the massive pollution threats our river faces, not only from sewage but from many other sources including pharmaceuticals”

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People were invited to sign up to Citizen Science activities that aim to build up a picture of the health of the river and identify particular pollution concerns. Children’s activities included learning how to build a mini–Beaver Dam.

The River People Tour visits Lewes to celebrate and learn about the OuseThe River People Tour visits Lewes to celebrate and learn about the Ouse
The River People Tour visits Lewes to celebrate and learn about the Ouse

The Community River Mapping activity included a giant aerial photo of the Ouse from source to sea and people have been encouraged over the River People tour to share their hopes, concerns and suggestions for the river and memories of favourite spots.

Natasha Padbury, Love our Ouse Director, said: “We believe those living along the Ouse can play a vital part in up-scaling positive action that will turn the tide on the health of the river and its tributaries. The tour aims to provide accessible and fun means for everyone to Love our Ouse.”

Talks on the state of the Ouse, its wide variety of fish, the pioneering Rights of River initiative and specific concerns for the Barcombe Ouse were well attended.

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The River People Tour continues onto Malling Community Centre in Lewes on March 23 with the addition of a river music and poetry event at the Linklater Pavilion in the evening. The tour finishes in Newhaven on May 25 at Marine Workshops. All events are free to attend and everyone is welcome.

See www.loveourouse.org.uk for more information.

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