Ribble Rivers Trust has taken a huge number of actions in response to the COVID 19 Pandemic. This includes effectively shutting our office, having all staff working from home, implementing all procedures as required by the Government, and delaying a significant number of projects that were due to commence in the next 3- 12 weeks. This places us at significant risk, as delivery of our projects is core to our existence, but we are managing this risk. In the interest of doing the right thing for our local communities and in line with the government guidance we think this is the right think to do.
That said there are two exceptions to this, our works at Primrose Lodge and peat restoration on Pendle Hill. These two projects fall within the activities that the government have permitted to carry on, and we are in a position where until our funders confirm that we can delay these projects, if we stop work we face a financial penalty that will threaten the continuity of the Trust. The difference with the other projects, is that this is not a risk we can manage at this stage. As such we have discussed the situation with the contractors, they are small companies local to the area and are keen to carry on, and they understand the issues and precautions they have to take, both personally and professionally. We have given formal instructions to those that carry out the works that they MUST comply with government guidance on social distancing, including travelling in separate vehicles, but also reduced number of people on site, and reduced time worked on site. The contractors did not work on Tuesday the 24th, so that they could prepare and ensure that they are compliant with our instructions and government guidance. We have written to our funders seeking confirmation that we can delay the projects, and we expect to receive and answer in the next 72 hours. We will then react appropriately.
We will continue to talk to our contractors and ensure that they are happy to progress, if they choose not to, we will cease operations.
We also continue to closely monitor the government guidance and respond swiftly and accordingly.
Refer to https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus for up to date information and guidance.
We will come through this and our environment and rivers will still need your support.
Thank you for your understanding,
Ribble Rivers Trust