Trout in the Town Blog

06/11/2014 - 13:14

As Joint professional category winners in the 2014 WTT Conservation awards (Sponsored by Thames Water) - the Eastridge Estate habitat works project has a lot of interesting things to share. Video is often far more efficient at conveying these messages than lots of technical documentation:



The video above shows some of the works undertaken over this substantial section of the River Kennet which not only created a lot of new spawning, juvenile and adult trout habitat (and a lot of additional river corridor flora and fauna) - but connected huge sections of upstream and downstream habitat that had previously been kept separate for fish migration.

The project had to improve habitat and reduce long impounded (dammed) sections whilst at the same time retaining enough vertical head of water in certain places to be able to flood the SSSI water meadows adjacent to the river. They did this by introducing a series of gravel riffles to retain enough head - but to energise and diversify the flow within the introduced habitat.

Coupling this type of activity with lowering the banks (and narrowing the channel where appropriate) has also increased the connectivity of the main channel with its flood plain - providing a place for floodwater to spill out safely onto wetland (potentially instead of spilling out of banks further downstream in people's properties and businesses at Hungerford and Newbury).

Main project Consultants were Windrush AEC in partnership with Eastridge Estate and the Environment Agency. Video produced by Cinepic productions.

03/11/2014 - 13:22

We will soon be able to bring you a video that details just one of the dozen entries to this year's hard-fought conservation awards. The standards of works submitted were incredibly high - with many projects that could have easily taken the winning spots in previous years of competition.

http://www.flyfishing.co.uk/news/fly-fishing-features/features/fishinguk/6862-chalkstreams-%E2%80%93-it%E2%80%99s-looking-good.html

31/10/2014 - 09:25

Worth bearing in mind when responding to hydropower proposals,

http://www.climatecentral.org/news/hydropower-as-major-methane-emitter-18246

24/10/2014 - 12:48


Just three examples of the exciting projects that Trout in the Town is supporting at the moment as part of various partnerships that are working to get urban river restoration projects off the ground.

Holme Valley Vision: http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/main-topics/general-news/cash-plea-as-huddersfield-valley-unites-to-improve-river-1-6904319, will be launched with an exhibition in Holmfirth Market Hall from Thursday October 30 to Saturday November 1, which will tell the history of the river and its ecology, and ask the public what improvements they want to see. Come along, and if you think it is a good idea, please consider donating to their "River2015" campaign that will support their effort: The aim of River2015 is to make improvements along its route, which takes in Honley, Holme and Holmfirth, starting by recruiting 2,015 people to donate £20.15, £201.50 or £2,015.

Myself and my colleague Tim Jacklin have recently been involved with strategy meetings and also a number of walkover visits on sites in the urban Trent catchment. We, along with Nick Mott of Staffordshire Wildlife Trust will be proposing and designing (as well as helping to deliver) habitat improvement projects in these urban reaches as part of a great Catchment Based Approach partnership between many organisations including the E.A., Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, the Wild Trout Trust and more. Liz Horton, Nick Mott and Bernadette Noake are heading up the Staffs Trent Valley CaBA Team.

Also a really exciting bit of work planned for next spring is our involvement with the Sheffield CC efforts to improve ecological conditions in heavily engineered sections of the Porter Brook right in Sheffield city centre. Trout in the Town has submitted proposals for measures that will augment existing schemes by introducing simple, yet significant, additional ecological and geomorphological processes into improved reaches of the brook: https://twitter.com/OneBigRiver/status/525044740094722048
10/10/2014 - 12:50
The presumptions that dredging will a.) Reduce flood risk b.) Be benign for life in/around the river are misplaced and potentially dangerous.

Please watch the great videos below to see how we can do Flood Risk Management much better than we currently do (and far, far better than what is commonly being suggested). If we don't get on top of this now - the decisions that are about to be taken will really f&*£ things up for people and environments at risk of flooding.

What we should do at the scale of our properties:




What we should do at the scale of our neighbourhoods



What we should do at the scale of our River Catchments

06/10/2014 - 15:30

Following on from the most recent blog entry (and very brief description of a method used by volunteers); please see the short 3-minute video below for a demonstration of how SPRITE members have successfully developed and implemented an efficient and robust technique for planting water crowfoot in freestone rivers (which would also work very well in more lowland settings too).

The method has a degree of resistance to grazing pressure during early phases of establishment and has also proven to be quite robust to the higher shear velocities experienced during spates on upland rivers.

Note the group's vital adherence to considerations for full permissions - including the requirement to source the plants from within the same river system and also from sites that are free from known biosecurity risk. Consultation with local Environment Agency (or equivalent local watercourse authority) is a way for volunteer groups to find out what permissions will be required in specific locations.

SPRITE methods for Ranunculus planting from Paul Gaskell on Vimeo.