Maria established the Sustainable Basingstoke Forum in February 2012 to highlight the importance of environmental issues in Basingstoke and to bring together some of the wide array of local environmental and biodiversity groups. The Forum offers an opportunity for organizations to meet regularly, share their views and have a stronger voice.
The role of the Forum is threefold:
- To discuss strategic issues and identify core themes on which practical action can be taken by members of the Forum;
- To seek to support a culture change, by taking action which will raise awareness in Basingstoke of environmental and biodiversity issues; and to assist the community to move towards sustainability through targeted campaigns;
- To share ideas and spread messages between organisations in the Forum and beyond.
Maria is actively involved in a wide range of environmental issues and campaigns. One particular priority area is the River Loddon and campaigning to reduce the current, illegal levels of phosphate pollution. Her work has succeeded in Thames Water agreeing to pilot ground breaking new technology to remove more phosphates from water treated at the Sewage Treatment Works and the Environment Agency, working with the Borough Council, installing new water flow gauges to improve the accuracy of modeling and projections. Maria also works with the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust in support of their Catchment Partnership role.