Pure Clean Water

  • Posted on: 23 November 2023
  • By: Susan

Friends of the Cam was delighted to host Tony Eva's award winning new film, 'Pure Clean Water', in December. The film demonstrates how the Cam and its tributaries - a rare chalk stream system - have been exploited to the brink of extinction. The film played to a full house of people who are increasingly concerned about the impact of growth on the river system, as well as on green belt land, farming and people's wellbeing in general.

Rights of Nature for Antarctica - unique challenges and promise

  • Posted on: 19 October 2023
  • By: Susan

Professor Alejandra Mancilla talked to a group hosted by Friends of the Cam on the need for rights for Antarctica to be declared. The talk was reported in the Cambridge Independent, and the slides are available at the end of this summary. She is a member of a campaigning collective who are arguing for Antarctic Rights, launched on World Antactic Day, December 1st, 2023.

Rivers, rights and masculinities - a conversation with Martin Hultman

  • Posted on: 29 August 2023
  • By: Susan

Swedish climate academic Martin Hultman was in Cambridge on Saturday 30th September and Sunday 1st October, during which time we had an informal discussion and a walk along the river Cam. Martin was also interviewed by the Cambridge Independent in a piece: Masculinity 'weaponised' by the far right says Swedish academic ahead of Cambridge talk.


  • Posted on: 12 August 2023
  • By: Susan
The Cam at Sheep's Green

Friends of the Cam campaign for an unpolluted river, against over-abstraction from it, and the unsustainable growth in buildings and infrastructure that impact on both. Designating short stretches of rivers may lead to some very limited local improvement of water quality, at the expense of water quality elsewhere. Friends of the Cam will be opposing the DBA application in the consultation for reasons given below. You can respond to the on-line  consultation here.


Friends of the Cam are a Cambridge based campaigning group committed to restoring the health of the river Cam and its tributaries for the benefit of nature. We are pledged to ending pollution of the river and overabstraction linked to unsustainable growth in the area. We have developed a charter to express these commitments which we invite others to sign.

The Issues

The River Cam and its tributaries are suffering badly from over-abstraction, agricultural run-off and sewage discharge leaving them in poor condition with very low flow levels and dirty water. At the same time the area is in the midst of a dash for growth in building houses and offices which is putting further strain on natural water flow and preventing the restoration of an already depleted system.

Taking Action

We can act by constantly opposing the conditions that are wrecking the River Cam and its streams. We can spread the word, persuade others, write letters, attend policy meetings, expose the role of water companies, businesses including farms, greenwashing efforts, planning officers, Councils, monitoring agencies. We can counter the unsustainability of building and infrastructure proposals. We can strengthen alliances with all those national and local groups who act with clarity and integrity to protect our River and counter unsustainable growth. We will be declaring the Rights of the River Cam at a public ceremony in June 2021 as a way of spreading the word and creating a network of River Defenders prepared to act to protect the River.