Privacy Policy

It is Open Rivers Programme’s policy to respect your privacy and comply with any applicable law and regulation regarding any personal information we may collect about you, including across our website,, and other sites we own and operate.

This policy is effective as of 20 September 2021 and was last updated on 20 September 2021.

Information We Collect

Information we collect includes both information you knowingly and actively provide us when using or participating in any of our services and promotions, and any information automatically sent by your devices in the course of accessing our products and services.

Log Data

When you visit our website, our servers may automatically log the standard data provided by your web browser. It may include your device’s Internet Protocol (IP) address, your browser type and version, the pages you visit, the time and date of your visit, the time spent on each page, other details about your visit, and technical details that occur in conjunction with any errors you may encounter.

Please be aware that while this information may not be personally identifying by itself, it may be possible to combine it with other data to personally identify individual persons.

Collection and Use of Information

We may collect personal information from you when you do any of the following on our website:

  • Contact us via email, social media, or on any similar technologies
  • When you mention us on social media

We may collect, hold, use, and disclose information for the following purposes, and personal information will not be further processed in a manner that is incompatible with these purposes:

Please be aware that we may combine information we collect about you with general information or research data we receive from other trusted sources.

Security of Your Personal Information

When we collect and process personal information, and while we retain this information, we will protect it within commercially acceptable means to prevent loss and theft, as well as unauthorized access, disclosure, copying, use, or modification.

Although we will do our best to protect the personal information you provide to us, we advise that no method of electronic transmission or storage is 100% secure, and no one can guarantee absolute data security. We will comply with laws applicable to us in respect of any data breach.

You are responsible for selecting any password and its overall security strength, ensuring the security of your own information within the bounds of our services.

How Long We Keep Your Personal Information

We keep your personal information only for as long as we need to. This time period may depend on what we are using your information for, in accordance with this privacy policy. If your personal information is no longer required, we will delete it or make it anonymous by removing all details that identify you.

However, if necessary, we may retain your personal information for our compliance with a legal, accounting, or reporting obligation or for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific, or historical research purposes or statistical purposes.

Children’s Privacy

We do not aim any of our products or services directly at children under the age of 13, and we do not collect personal information about children under 13.

If we receive personal information about you from a third party, we will protect it as set out in this privacy policy. If you are a third party providing personal information about somebody else, you represent and warrant that you have such person’s consent to provide the personal information to us.

If you have previously agreed to us using your personal information for direct marketing purposes, you may change your mind at any time. We will provide you with the ability to unsubscribe from our email-database or opt out of communications. Please be aware we may need to request specific information from you to help us confirm your identity.

If you believe that any information we hold about you is inaccurate, out of date, incomplete, irrelevant, or misleading, please contact us using the details provided in this privacy policy. We will take reasonable steps to correct any information found to be inaccurate, incomplete, misleading, or out of date.

If you believe that we have breached a relevant data protection law and wish to make a complaint, please contact us using the details below and provide us with full details of the alleged breach. We will promptly investigate your complaint and respond to you, in writing, setting out the outcome of our investigation and the steps we will take to deal with your complaint. You also have the right to contact a regulatory body or data protection authority in relation to your complaint.

Use of Cookies

We use “cookies” to collect information about you and your activity across our site. A cookie is a small piece of data that our website stores on your computer, and accesses each time you visit, so we can understand how you use our site. This helps us serve you content based on preferences you have specified.

Limits of Our Policy

Our website may link to external sites that are not operated by us. Please be aware that we have no control over the content and policies of those sites, and cannot accept responsibility or liability for their respective privacy practices.

Changes to This Policy

At our discretion, we may change our privacy policy to reflect updates to our organisation processes, current acceptable practices, or legislative or regulatory changes. If we decide to change this privacy policy, we will post the changes here at the same link by which you are accessing this privacy policy.

If required by law, we will get your permission or give you the opportunity to opt in to or opt out of, as applicable, any new uses of your personal information.

Contact Us

For any questions or concerns regarding your privacy, you may contact us using the following details:

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Assessment process

We are looking for small dam removal projects that are highly viable, low risk, and which maximise the potential to restore natural processes in endangered rivers across Europe.

We are looking for applications that demonstrate the following:

Maximise the potential to restore biodiversity

This is the most essential requirement of all projects, and the following will be assessed:

  • Potential to open up large areas of previously fragmented river.
  • Potential to restore endangered habitats or species i.e. river of significant ecological importance.
  • Restore ecological and hydromorphological processes.
  • Restore connectivity between habitats.
  • Provide other benefits to riparian ecology.
  • Please note that proposals in highly fragmented rivers where a series of dam removals will only open up small stretches of river are unlikely to be supported unless there is a convincing case for high ecological restoration potential.

Are highly viable – relatively quick to remove

The programme wishes to make impact over short timescales. Projects must be able to be completed within one year. Projects that take longer than one year will be considered if they are exceptional in terms of their potential for ecological restoration. Demolition projects must have support from relevant local administrations and the local community or be in a position to gain support over a short timescale.

Consider whole river basins and justify the relevance of proposed dam removal/s in opening up a catchment

Evidence that an assessment of opportunities at the river basin level has been conducted. The programme is more likely to support multiple dam removals that open up large stretches of river and impact whole river basins than isolated single removals. The programme will consider the value/rationale behind each proposed removal within a catchment. Single dam removals are less likely to be supported unless it can be proven that they will have a significant ecological impact / open up a large area of river.

Propose the removal of small barriers

The programme’s focus is on small barrier removal projects and we generally select projects with small dams between 1 – 3 metres in height. Some evidence suggests that the removal of barriers of up to two metres in height is the most cost-effective method of restoring river flow.  We recognise that setting a fixed height limit may exclude perfectly good cases in some circumstances e.g. where there are few small barriers available to remove in a particular country or where a five-meter high and potentially costly barrier removal is situated on the main stem of a river and would open up a large stretch of river critical to the migration of certain species. Higher barriers will be considered, however, these will be more rigorously assessed and will need to demonstrate exceptional ecological gain against the total cost of the project.

When assessing your application, we will compare your submission against all other submissions and shortlist those projects that maximise the value for money i.e. the amount of ecological restoration that can be achieved against the amount spent by the programme. We will also take into consideration other factors such as the costs in the country where the project will be implemented, whether the project is achievable in a short timeframe, the level of risk, and whether it stands out as unique or important.


Exceptional or unique projects that have wider catalysing impacts

  • An exceptional removal for the ecological restoration of a river.
  • Funding by the programme results in additional funding being provided by others e.g. a feasibility study funded by the programme that results in a third party funding the demolition of the barrier.
  • Trialling a new approach that demonstrates its potential to others.
  • An approach that could positively impact future policy on removing barriers.
  • An additional positive social, economic and/or cultural impact