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Prof Mark Barrow, Joint Chair

As Executive Director of Place at Shropshire Council and joint chair of the River Severn Partnership, I’m passionate about us working holistically to ensure that we work together to develop strategies and deliver projects across the catchment so we can deliver multiple benefits and value for everyone.

As a Partnership, we recognise the unique role of this river network both as a wonderful natural asset but also as the foundation and indeed catalyst, for resilience, wellbeing and growth.

The partnership has come together because of the significant challenges we face and which are increasing with climate change. We recognise we are at a turning point and need a new, truly collaborative approach, which harnesses the innovation opportunities the River Severn network provides and which can help drive truly resilient and sustainable growth.

Clare Dinnis, Joint Chair

I have worked for the Environment Agency for over 20 years and at the beginning of November 2020 I took on the role of West Midlands Area Director and joint chair of the River Severn Partnership.

As a country we face some significant challenges, many of which are interlinked but fall under the remits of different organisations. The Partnership offers us a pioneering approach to collaborate on those challenges along the length of the River Severn. By considering it as one system, we can create significant opportunities to enhance social, economic and commercial benefits across the whole River Severn network.

One of those challenges with the widest felt impacts is climate change. Much of what we’re trying to do with the River Severn Partnership is about adapting to the changing climate in a way that is flexible and supports growth. However it is also about being clear that we cannot completely remove the risk from either flooding or drought. Instead we have to prepare for the unavoidable risk from already locked-in climate change.

To do this we need to understand what this means for the way we live and work across the catchment now and in future generations. And we need to work together to build resilience that means society, economy and environment across the catchment can thrive. Doing this will be a challenge in itself, but I am confident that by working in partnership, we can achieve much more than any of us can alone.