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02 September 21

Affinity Water invites walkers to join in the Chess Valley Challenge for another year

Affinity Water is asking walkers to have fun and to join in a sponsored walk for wildlife in Hertfordshire and Middlesex as Wildlife Trust runs the Chess Valley Challenge for its third year.

The sponsored walk, delivered in partnership by Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust and Affinity Water, runs ten miles through the Chess Valley, nestled in the Chiltern Hills. Walkers are invited to attend the challenge and fundraise to protect the wild places in Hertfordshire and Middlesex. Last year, individuals raised over £4000 for to protect wildlife.

After the success of last year, the Chess Valley Challenge is now open for walkers to take on the route from Rickmansworth to Chesham on Sunday 26th September 2021. The walk will be held in Great Big Green Week, alongside events supporting individuals in acting for climate change. Richard Roberts, Leader of Hertfordshire County Council, will be the first to set off on the walk from Rickmansworth on Sunday morning.

The walk runs through the Chiltern hills and the beautiful Frogmore Meadows, alongside the River Chess. This river is a chalk stream, which are globally rare wetland habitats which provide incredibly biodiverse yet fragile environments for wildlife such as water cress, crayfish and water voles. The funds raised by walkers will support the Trust in caring for these precious environments.

Sarah Croft, Fundraising Officer for Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust said:

“We are thrilled to be running the Chess Valley Challenge for a third year. The challenge is a brilliant way to help raise funds for local wildlife, get out into nature and discover the beautiful Chess Valley. We are very grateful for the support of our sponsors, Affinity Water. The

sponsorship money provided by Affinity will help the Trust to continue protecting precious local wildlife and care for our beautiful nature reserves such as Frogmore Meadows.”

Anna Jarmolinska-Nowak, Affinity Water’s Corporate Responsibility Manager Affinity water said:

“We work closely with HMWT on a variety of schemes to conserve the natural environment and raise awareness of wider water resource issues. We are so excited to be able to support the event this year again, in celebration of the beautiful River Chess and help the local community connect with nature and appreciate its value. Chalk streams are England’s rainforests. They are one of the rarest natural resources anywhere in the world, with many running through Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

“Last year Affinity Water stopped taking water from two boreholes at the top of the Chess Valley to leave more water in environment and to help restore this globally rare chalk stream back to health. To support this further, in April this year, we also launched our www.saveourstreams.co.uk campaign to help people improve local environment and Save Our Streams by wasting less water. Now 135,000 people have signed up to it. In July, we published our plan for ‘Net Zero Carbon’ by 2030 which outlined our carbon reduction strategy. Among many actions, we want to empower our customers to reduce their water consumption as around 6% of all UK emissions are from overall water use. Around 89% of this comes from heating water in our homes’’.

Walkers can sign up to the event at hertswildlifetrust.org/chessvalleychallenge.

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