Trout in the Town

P112 Lmster Bridge Photo Tp Landscape Crop
Who can resist looking for trout from a bridge?

Clean rivers and wild trout in our towns and cities — a wonderful affirmation of hope, and that we can build a world where there’s room for both people and nature.

Charles Rangeley-Wilson

Wild trout and many other species are coming back to city streams after centuries of abuse. But these recovering ecosystems still need all the help we can give them – so Trout in the Town is the Wild Trout Trust’s project to help local communities look after their rivers in towns and cities across the UK.

By some calculations, over 90% of the UK’s population will be living in urban areas by 2030, and rivers and green spaces have huge benefits for people’s health and happiness. 

It’s great to know that many of the rivers in Britain’s towns and cities are now the cleanest they’ve been for the last 100 years. But urban rivers and their fish still live at constant risk of pollution from surface water drainage, fly-tipping and sewage treatment accidents, as well as being cut off from the places around them by steep brick or concrete walls, or even buried in pipes.

All this adds up to a huge opportunity for local people to start taking pride in the urban rivers on their doorsteps — so they can start enjoying their beauty again, instead of avoiding them as dangerous eyesores. And that’s where the Wild Trout Trust’s Trout in the Town project comes in.

If you’d like any help looking after your local urban river, we can offer free support and expert technical guidance, as well as partnership opportunities for bigger projects.

We can put you in touch with other people who are fighting for their own urban streams, (see below for a full list of our current Trout in the Town projects) or arrange a meeting with one of our Trout in the Town experts.

    • Paul Gaskell: Trout in the Town Manager (North)
    • Theo Pike: Trout in the Town Officer (South)

Help and Advice

Written by Theo and Paul, our new Trout in the Town Urban River Toolkit draws on nearly 20 years of experience in mending urban rivers. It’s 98 pages full of inspiring, empowering advice for anyone who wants to start taking care of their local urban waterway, including:

  • Understanding urban rivers and their surroundings
  • Organising river cleanups and other events
  • Inspiring and motivating volunteers
  • Funding and fundraising
  • Practical aspects of running an urban river group
  • Exciting project ideas
  • Case studies from successful Trout in the Town groups
  • Getting your group accredited as an official Trout in the Town chapter
  • And much, much more…

You can download pdfs of the Toolkit and its useful Appendices by clicking on the links below:

Trout in the Town Urban River Toolkit (17mb PDF)

Urban River Toolkit Appendices:

Appendix 1 — Sample constitution for an urban river community group
Appendix 2 — Sample safeguarding policy for an urban river community group
Appendix 3 — Risk assessment template
Appendix 4 — Event registration template
Appendix 5 — The Anglers’ Riverfly Monitoring Initiative: detailed guidelines
Appendix 6 — Only Rain Down the Drain: A Handy Guide to Yellow Fish
Appendix 7 — Reaching Communities: consultation questions
Appendix 8 — Monitoring Trout in the Town projects

You can also buy a full colour printed copy for just £15.99 via Amazon: search Amazon for Urban River Toolkit’ or click here.

Theo’s book Trout in Dirty Places also profiles many of our original Trout in the Town groups, as well as offering great advice about fishing urban rivers all over the UK.

Can we help you look after your local urban river? Email pgaskell@​wildtrout.​org or tpike@​wildtrout.​org

No spare time to volunteer? Help us help urban rivers by donating here.

Pg And Urban Trout
Trout can live in urban rivers!

Trout in the Town Projects

Listed below are the current Trout in the Town projects. To see more detail on each project, click on the project title.

You can sort the list by clicking on any of the headings.

Title Town River Name River Basin County Author
Action Irwell and the Salford Friendly Anglers Salford River Irwell North West Lancashire Paul Gaskell
Afon Bach Conwy, Llanrwst Llanrwst Afon Bach Conwy Dee Wales Paul Gaskell
CATCH: Community Action to Transform the Cale Habitat Wincanton Cale South West Somerset Andy Thomas
Holme Valley Honley, Holme and Holmfirth Holme Humber North Yorkshire Paul Gaskell
Lyme Brook, Newcastle-Under-Lyme Project Newcastle-under-Lyme Lyme Brook Humber Staffordshire Paul Gaskell
River Cole, Birmingham. Birmingham Cole Severn West Midlands Paul Gaskell
River Douglas, Wigan Wigan Douglas North West Lancashire Paul Gaskell
River Irk, Greater Manchester Manchester Irk North West Lancashire Paul Gaskell
SPRITE: Sheffield Partnership for Rivers in Town Environments Sheffield Don Humber South Yorkshire Paul Gaskell
The Wandle Trust South London Wandle Thames Surrey Paul Gaskell
Wellow Brook, Radstock. Radstock Wellow Brook Severn Somerset Paul Gaskell