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.

Category Title Town River Name River Basin County Contact
Gold Community Action to Transform Cale Habitat (CATCH) Wincanton Cale South West Somerset Theo Pike
Gold South East Rivers Trust (SERT) London Wandle Thames London Theo Pike
Silver Friends of the River Frome Frome Frome South West Somerset Theo Pike
Silver Our Finest Dour: White Cliffs Countryside Partnership & River Dour Partnership Dover Dour South East Kent Theo Pike
Bronze Calder Chantry Bridge Wakefield Calder Humber West Yorkshire Paul Gaskell
Bronze Friends of Bilbrook Codsall Bilbrook Severn Staffordshire Paul Gaskell
Bronze River Holme Connections Holmfirth Holm Humber West Yorkshire Paul Gaskell
Bronze Sheaf & Porter Rivers Trust Sheffield Sheaf and Porter Humber South Yorkshire Paul Gaskell
Bronze Yeovil Rivers Community Trust (YRCT) Yeovil Yeo South West Somerset Theo Pike
First Contact Cheselbourne Stream Conservation Group Cheselbourne Cheselbourne South West Dorset Theo Pike
First Contact Friends of the River Dearne Scisset Dearne Humber West Yorkshire Paul Gaskell
First Contact Friends of the Tawd Valley Skelmersdale Tawd North West Lancashire Paul Gaskell
First Contact Pewsey Avon River Restoration (PARR) Pewsey Avon South West Wiltshire Theo Pike
First Contact River Worth Friends Keighley Worth Humber West Yorkshire Paul Gaskell
First Contact Sustainable Westbury-on-Trym (SuSWoT) Bristol Trym Severn Avon Theo Pike