Advice and Practical Help

General advice and support

WTT’s team of six full-time Conservation Officers, based across England, provide advice about the management of rivers and lakes through advisory visits, e-mail and phone. They also collaborate in the development and delivery of partnership projects with a wide range of organisations including fishing clubs, rivers and wildlife trusts and government agencies.
If you’d like our support or discuss how we might help you, contact details for our team are available here.

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.  

Advisory Visits

Advisory Visits  (AVs)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 in England are largely funded by the Environment Agency through rod licence revenues.

The visits and the report are FREE; you only pay travel expenses.
We also carry out visits in Wales, Scotland and Ireland and these are also free subject to funds being available (they usually are!).

If you would like an Advisory Visit, send an email to 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

Project Proposals

Our Conservation Officers also write-up Project Proposals, reports more in-depth than AVs, detailing methods for particular enhancement projects. Very often, our Project Proposals form the basis of applications to the regulatory authorities for practical in-river habitat enhancement work.

River Habitat Workshops and Practical Visits

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.

For more details of these, click here.

Raising funds for your project 

These two documents may be of help, but please also contact Denise Ashton on

Fundraising guidance summary, click here  and how to raise money for your wild trout habitat project click here.


England and Wales  

Most habitat work in rivers requires Flood Defence Consent (FDC). 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 Environment Agency (EA) or National Resources Wales (NRW) office and explain your plans.  The FDC 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 NRW (and we) will support you in checking for any designated conservation or forestry protective status requirements that need to be met.

The flood defence 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 could be done by a WTT Conservation Officer if you are not confident to produce these yourself.

Flood defence consent:

  • Will always be required on sections of river that are designated as “main river”. This is not a simple definition (tributaries can be deemed “main river”); and the local EA/NRW 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 8m 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/NRW 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 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

WTT will support you throughout this process and 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'

If you would like to chat through how you can work with WTT, contact your local Conservation Officer (click here) or the Trust Director, Shaun Leonard on or 07974 861908.