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Local students plan ‘Dour Power’ project to protect local river

18 June 19

Local students plan ‘Dour Power’ project to protect local river

Students river dipping along the River Dour

Barton Junior School and White Cliffs Primary College students have urged their local community to get behind them as they lead the way to project their local river from pollution with their ‘Dour Power’ campaign.

The River Dour is a rare chalk stream – one of only 200 in the world – that runs through the heart of Dover. The stream is fed from the underground water-storing aquifers that sit below the stunning and world-famous White Cliffs, which also provide Affinity Water customers with their drinking water.

It has become the focus of a special partnership project – aptly titled `Our Finest Dour’ – between Affinity Water and the White Cliffs Countryside Partnership. The three-year National Lottery Heritage Funded project aims to raise local awareness about the river, its rarity and importance for biodiversity.

The students paid a visit to the River Dour late last week on a research mission to learn more about the unique habitat that a chalk stream provides and how the delicate flora and fauna within it rely on each other for survival. They were excited to be able to catch Freshwater Shrimp, Bullheads and Sticklebacks to study in closer detail before releasing them back to the river. The students also recently paid a visit to their local water treatment works and were astonished to learn about the complex relationship between groundwater, where Affinity Water takes water from to supply the local area, and the globally rare River Dour.

The research mission to the River Dour will help the students plan and run their ‘Dour Power’ campaign to encourage their schools and wider community to get behind them and take ownership and pride to protect their local river from pollution.

Karen Stanley, Education Co-Ordinator at Affinity Water said, “At Affinity Water, we are passionate about using interactive learning to really engage young people and help them to become passionate about their local environment. Seeing the children so engaged, and really appreciating the privilege of having clean, fresh water to drink, and how all of nature relies on it so heavily, was a real inspiration.”

Iona Dubieniec, Landscape Partnership Officer from White Cliffs Countryside Partnership, said: “The students are showing real passion and are eager to get others in their community to follow their lead and help protect the River Dour from pollution.”

To find out more about ‘Our Finest Dour’, please visit

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