Words by Abi Scaife
Rivers in Europe are thriving, as their barriers are removed.
Tell me more.
From dams to weirs, over 300 river barriers have been removed across Europe in 2022 - with at least 325 taken down across 16 countries.
This is brilliant for so many reasons - mostly because it is allowing nature to reclaim the rivers, and helping wildlife to thrive in their natural habitats, without humans getting in the way.
The UK alone completed 29 removals, including the Bowston Weir, which will help restore the health of the river, and allow its inhabitants (from crayfish and mussels to aquatic plants) to live healthier lives.
While dams can sometimes be good, often, especially with those that have been there for a long time, they are unfortunately getting in the way of nature doing its thing. It's important for us to now relinquish control, and let nature do what it does best - survive!
If you want to support one of the charities that has been at the forefront of this movement, you can dos o by giving back to Dam Removal Europe on their website. Donations will be submitted through the World Fish Migration Foundation, which runs the project.
At Smiley Movement, we like to elevate the work of charities across the world. Here are three charities whose causes align with the themes in this article.
The Climate Coalition. This is the UK's largest group of people dedicated to action against climate change. Find out more and support them here.
Climate Reframe. Climate Reframe is committed to supporting the climate and environment movement in its transformation towards greater justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (JEDI). Find out more.
The Canal & Rivers Trust. The Rivers Trust are conservation experts who work to create wild, healthy, natural rivers. Support them here.