University of Exeter celebrates Europe’s wild rivers

THE University of Exeter, National Trust, Agile Rabbit and South West Water are joining forces for a special event in Lyme Regis about Europe’s last wild rivers.

The evening will feature a screening of a new celebrated film called ‘Blue Heart’, followed by a panel discussion.

The film aims to raise public awareness about the impact of the Balkan Rivers hydropower boom. More than 3,000 hydropower dams are being planned or built in the Balkans — disrupting Europe’s last free-flowing rivers and threatening communities and wildlife. Ninety-one per cent of these planned projects will generate little energy, despite being extremely expensive to build and to maintain.

The speakers are Richard Higgs, programme manager of the Riverlands project at the National Trust, a £10 million project to bring the UK rivers back to life; Minni Jain, director of the Flow Partnership, an NGO working in the UK, India and Slovenia which is rejuvenating desertified and flooded lands with community collaboration; and Dr David Smith from South West Water Upstream Thinking project, which aims find natural landscape-scale solutions to improve water quality.

The discussion will be chaired by Dr Kate Baker, Research Fellow at The University of Exeter.

Dr Baker said: “It’s fantastic that these four organisations are coming together to bring attention to the human impact on rivers. This is something that affects all animals and plants, and even our own communities.”

The screening and discussion will be held at he Marine Theatre in Lyme Regis on Thursday, October 11. Tickets cost £5 in advance or £7 on the door, with a 10% discount for Theatre Friends.

To book call 01297 442138 or visit

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