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