Trout in the Town Blog

18/12/2015 - 15:50
Picking up from my previous post of the in-channel habitat creation - here are just a few photos to give an impression of the site's previous states.

This gives a bit more of an idea of how little of the river was allowed to see the open air until pretty recently. Sheffield City Council have been steadily working to expose this buried watercourse...

View downstream from the road bridge note the balcony/gantry on the right in the foreground



Same view immediately after the in-channel habitat-works (note balcony/gantry on right of frame in foreground



Starting to remove the brick-arch culverting



At the downstream end of the removed brick culvert - a series of steel RSJs can now be seen spanning the river. These previously supported the concrete floor of a factory that was built on top of the river



Here is a picture of all the RJSs (complete with poetic graffiti)



The same view after the in-channel works and removal of RSJs

So, a great deal of credit deserves to go to Sheffield City Council and their planning/landscape people. I will be putting together video of this project (which should hopefully include some drone footage to give a good overall impression).

Watch this space...

Paul
15/12/2015 - 16:56

There will be more pictures and video to come to document this bold project by Sheffield City Council to uncover a section of stream that used to live beneath a factory floor. They are in the process of creating a "pocket park" that will provide new flood-water storage (when the rivers are in spate) and an improved public park amenity (when the rivers are calm).

The pocket park itself will be excavated out from the current high ground level (and a major construction project is underway at the moment to achieve this).

The Wild Trout Trust were brought in to design in-channel features and riverbed morphology that would maxmise the improvements for the ecology of the stream - including for the prospects of a small and fragmented native population of wild brown trout.
 

The site after uncovering the stream - but before the in-channel works
 
Click here for lots more photos! 
 
 
01/12/2015 - 13:49

Stand out quote that encapsulates that we know a lot more about the mechanisms of damage to river ecosystems and their wild fish populations than even in Frank Sawyer's day.

Its up to us to make sure we act on that knowledge.

April Vokey's Journey from Vantage Point Media House on Vimeo.

23/11/2015 - 23:13



It was a great pleasure to be involved at the end of this summer with a vibrant "Open Village" event in Clayton West in the Kirklees region of West Yorkshire. As well as the many musical, local business and art exhibitions - a local angler and wildlife enthusiast Phil Slater had arranged an event to help reconnect people with their river. Alongside Chris Firth MBE of the Don Catchment Rivers Trust we hoped to increase the awareness of the river and the challenges it faces.

So many of the local families that came to the riverside activities (including bug dipping and fly casting lessons)came away with a real enthusiasm for the river and its future care and enhancement. It was a great testament to Phil's own passion for the river and the commitment he has made to see things continue to improve on this tributary of the Don (in 2015, right down at the confluence with the River Don, the first salmon parr was recorded on the Dearne in an Environment Agency survey).

The river faces many problems - from discharges of poor quality water, to invasive plants like giant hogweed and Himalayan balsam and habitat degradation through industrialisation and development. In places it escapes the worst of these impacts - and here there are pockets of wild trout and grayling populations. But the presence of these pollution-sensitive species are patchy and need all the help that they can get.

The video below covers the wide diversity of events that made up the open village event "Made In Clayton West".

Watch from 3 min 44 seconds to see Phil Slater explain the Friends of the Dearne project:


You can follow Phil and friends in their bid to protect and enhance the Dearne on their facebook page:
Facebook page for Friends of the Dearne

And you can read a short report (including the video above) on this summer's event on the Kirklees TV page here:
"Made in Clayton West" page on Kirklees TV

20/11/2015 - 12:02

It seems to be quite a common view that "nature" is a "nice to have" once we have taken care of jobs, business and the economy in general. A bit of a luxury when we've got some loose change left over from taking care of progress...

The problem with that is it misses the point that nobody will be doing business/earning money without functioning, healthy ecosystems. You'd struggle to breathe, for example, if there isn't enough photosynthesis happening.

The epic (and fantastic) project to restore rivers in five catchments in the south west of the UK (by Westcountry Rivers Trust) included work by independent financial analysts "NEF". The costs of doing habitat improvement and restoration were smaller than the economic value that they added to the Westcountry region.

In cases where angling passport schemes benefited from habitat improvement - that showed the highest Return On Investment. A staggering £4.50 return on each £1 spent on environmental restoration. Of course, because you cannot track and measure everything - even that figure is likely to be an underestimate.

So feel free to point people who feel that nature is a luxury towards the full report from NEF here: http://wrt.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/WRT_FINAL-REPORT1.pdf and the WRT blog post summary here: http://wrt.org.uk/river-improvements-show-great-economic-and-environmental-returns/
07/10/2015 - 15:54
A brand-new panel explaining how and why the habitat works have been done on the Lyme Brook in Newcastle-under-Lyme has now been installed. This is an invaluable addition to the existing works because it allows walkers and other park-users to really appreciate the transformation.
The panel has been installed next to the first feature (a new gravel spawning riffle) that was installed at the beginning of this project. Passers-by can now learn about all the activities at that point and also as they follow the path along the stream up through the park.


Syndicate content