River Rangers launch

United Utilities has hired six River Rangers to patrol the banks of rivers across the North West as part of its ambitious efforts to help improve river water quality across the region. 

A team of four rangers will be working across Cheshire and Greater Manchester as they look to forge closer links with community groups and organisations and work with them to improve the environment around the River Mersey catchment.

As well as engaging with local communities, the rangers will be proactively patrolling the banks of rivers to check the company’s assets, organise maintenance and clean litter and debris.  They will also be carrying out sampling to allow the company to better understand river water quality across the region. 

A further two rangers will be also be working in Cumbria around the Windermere catchment. 

The rangers were joined today by volunteers from the Mersey Rivers Trust and other colleagues at United Utilities to take part in a clean-up event on the banks of the River Tame near Dukinfield wastewater treatment works. 

Louise Beardmore, CEO of United Utilities, said: “I’m thrilled to welcome the first four river rangers into post.  Only by working with partners and local communities can we tackle the issues that face our rivers and the rangers will play a vital role in engaging with people around our assets. 

“We are determined to play our part in improving river water quality across the region and this type of initiative builds on our ambitious investment plans that will deliver real benefits to the environment and our communities.”

John Sanders, Mersey Rivers Trust, said: “We welcome the creation of the River Ranger role. It’s a crucial step up in engagement between United Utilities, ourselves and other local communications.  Only by working in partnership can we help to improve river water quality across the Mersey catchment.”

The North West’s water company is well underway with its £230m plan to tackle storm overflows in the next two years that will help to improve 184km of watercourses. 

In recent weeks the company has also announced it will be bringing forward £900m of investment that will allow it to get started on projects at a further 134 storm overflows across the region.  This investment will bring region wide benefits, reducing storm overflows, creating jobs, and boosting the resilience of local communities and the environment.