- About Us
- About Trout
- Advice & Help
- Trout in the Town
Advice and Practical Help
The purpose of the Advisory Visit programme is to provide expert, practical advice to individuals or organisations that have responsibility for a stretch of river or a lake which is, or should be, wild trout habitat.
Our Conservation Officers will walk your stretch of river with you and discuss how you can best manage and improve the habitat. They will give you a report with recommendations and advice on techniques consents and project funding. This report is usually the basis of a habitat improvement project or change in habitat management – more than 90% of our AVs result in practical action.
Advisory visits and the report are FREE; you only pay travel expenses.
If you would like an Advisory Visit, send an email to email@example.com or write to the WTT office at PO Box 120, Waterlooville, PO8 0WZ with a request for support and a short summary of the location and current management of the site.
Copies of Advisory Visit reports are held on this website here. You need to register with us to view the detail. An option to register comes up when you click on a report.
Practical Visits follow on from Advisory Visits and are mainly intended as hands-on training sessions, teaching the use of tools and techniques for habitat improvement and management. We will work with you on and in your river to help get you started on your habitat improvement project or show you how to best carry out habitat management.
They last between 1 and 3 days, and can also be treated as all or part of a project as well as training.
Practical visits are FREE; you only pay travel expenses.
Some key things to know about Practical Visits
- All work in the river or on the banks requires consent from the relevant authorities. As a minimum (in England and Wales) this is Land Drainage Consent, but other consents and permissions may be required. We cannot do work without consent, but we will help you with this process.
- Practical visits involve work in the river and use of specialised tools including chain saws, so the correct safety equipment and understanding of the risks and how to work safely and avoid problems is a crucial part of the training.
- Intalling flow deflectors and tree kickers,
- Installing large woody debris.
- Mending livestock damage to river channel and banks including narrowing the river.
- Creating predator refuges and juvenile habitat using coarse woody debris.
- Sustainable bank protection using natural, local materials.
- Working on weirs so that they are no longer barriers to up or downstream migration (small scale easements, not large scale fish passes).
- Cleaning gravels with rakes pumps or strategically positioned woody debris.
- Managing bankside shrubs and trees.
Manuals and guides
We have a comprehensive set of manuals and guides which are designed to help people to carry out habitat improvement and management. These are practical ‘how to’ guides and come in a variety of formats – book, CD, downloadable PDF and video. Visit the WTT section of our library to download or order these guides.
England and Wales
Most habitat work in rivers requires Land Drainage Consent (LDC). This is a legal requirement and the simplest way to make sure that you have the right consents in place is to talk to your local EA office and explain your plans. The LDC process is there to ensure that:
- Works do not cause an unacceptable flood risk
- Wildlife will not be damaged
You must also make sure that the landowner(s) are fully informed and have given permission for both the works and the required access to the site. The EA (or we) will support you in checking for any designated conservation or forestry protective status requirements that need to be met.
The land drainage consent form is very simple to fill in, consisting mainly of location details and contact details for applicants. The plan drawings and supporting information explaining why the works are required and a method statement will typically be done by a WTT Conservation Officer if you are not confident to produce these yourself.
Land drainage consent:
- Will always be required on sections of river that the E.A. designate as “main river”. This is not a simple definition (tributaries can be deemed “main river”); and the local EA flood risk management team can tell you what the designation is for your piece of river or stream.
- Applies to any works or structures within the channel, and within 8-m of the channel boundary. Take note that this channel boundary could be defined as the limit of the floodplain!
- Usually benefits from inviting the EA staff and other relevant stakeholders to a meeting on site to clearly outline the proposal
What you will have to do:
- Agree to supply relevant contact details as the applicant
- Work with the WTT to understand where and why the works should take place
- Help to identify and then make contact with the relevant landowners to obtain permission for access and for works
- Abide by any restrictions on timing or methods for habitat works
- Be prepared (potentially) to be patient , especially if the local consenting team has not assessed a habitat works project previously
The WTT will support you throughout this process and will help supply any technical documentation and advice. We will also argue the case for the works and proposed methodologies, as well as designing suitable compromises when required. More details are available in our book “The Wild Trout Survival Guide”.