News

'It’s the water, stupid'

Posted on June 27, 2024

'It’s the water, stupid'

Martin Salter, Head of Policy at the Angling Trust, and (importantly) former MP for Reading West, has written this excellent blog post for RiverAction. 

The title parodies Bill Clinton's famous phrase 'it's the economy, stupid' and is very clear about the challenges facing the incoming Government and what needs to be done. Martin's subject matter covers sewage, of course, but more importantly the underlying systemic issues around water pricing, regulation, investment and water security.

Typically of Martin, it is robust, forthright and grounded in common sense and experience. Along with RiverAction, the Angling Trust and other campaigners, he will be making sure that the message gets through in Westminster, and WTT will be supporting them in every possible way.  

Kris Kent, our friend. RIP

Posted on June 25, 2024

Kris Kent, our friend. RIP

All of us in the WTT family are profoundly saddened at the death of Kris Kent.

Kris started his volunteering life with WTT in typical, unsung fashion, breezing into the kitchen at one of our Annual Get-Togethers to help wash up and tidy (Chrissy says she will always remember him in Marigolds at events like these!)

He became a stalwart on the WTT stand in the halcyon days of the Game Fair, his giant frame meaning that we had no need of step ladders to assemble the displays. For many years, he was also our (voluntary) lead as we dipped our toes into social media, and he won our Bernard Venables Award in 2013 for all this help in spreading the word about wild trout.

WTT 3-Fly Challenge 2024 raises £3,000+ to help restore chalk stream habitat

Posted on June 18, 2024

WTT 3-Fly Challenge 2024 raises £3,000+ to help restore chalk stream habitat

Our annual 3-Fly Challenge at Meon Springs is firm fixture in many WTT members’ diaries, and our friendly competition on 15 June 2024 saw supporters travelling from as far away as Wales to take part.

This year’s event raised more than £3,000 for our Pasco James fund, which commemorates one of our former supporters – who died far too young, but loved fishing Meon Springs and the chalk streams – and now provides our Conservation Officers with vital support for practical chalk stream habitat restoration projects.

A full turn-out of 35 anglers, including a record 6 ladies, braved the wind and rain in a friendly match for the grand prize of a 9ft 5wt Sage Sonic rod, as well as a beautiful engraved decanter and glasses generously donated by Roy and Brigette Gosling.

New in our web shop: Wild brown trout patterned neck tube

Posted on June 17, 2024

New in our web shop: Wild brown trout patterned neck tube

We’ve recently added something new to our range of interesting trouty merchandise in the WTT web shop: a neck tube (or neck warmer / snood) patterned with spots like those on the flanks of our beloved wild brown trout.

Designed by Amanda Harris-Lea of Foxy Pheasant, it’s inspired by her childhood pursuing wild trout in the River Whorfe in Shropshire, and made in Wales.

Each neck tube is 50cm long and 50cm in circumference, and sewn from double layers of ultra-stretchy, quick-drying lycra, making it perfect for layering up to keep draughts at bay while you’re on the water – or even just walking the dog!

Restore Nature Now march: London, 22 June 2024

Posted on June 10, 2024

Restore Nature Now march: London, 22 June 2024

Organised by a group of campaigning environmental NGO's ahead of the UK's forthcoming general election, the Restore Nature Now march and rally will call on politicians of all parties to put nature recovery at the heart of their plans for the country's future.

This major event is scheduled for London on Saturday 22 June, asking UK politicians to show strong domestic and global nature and climate leadership by:​

1. Giving a pay-rise for nature

81% decline in migratory fish populations - but there is (some) hope

Posted on June 05, 2024

Freshwater migratory fish populations have declined by 81% from 1970 to 2020, according to the 2024 Living Planet Index published by WWF in May 2024.

Unfortunately, this comes as no surprise, with Atlantic salmon and now sea trout populations understood to be in  decline.

 This blog post from the Freshwater Blog offers some hope that river restoration, and in particular, barrier removal (dams, weirs and culverts) can help, as 'a key driver of migratory fish declines is the fragmentation of rivers and the blockage of migration routes due to dams, weirs and other barriers.'

Salmo Trutta 2024

Posted on May 15, 2024

Salmo Trutta 2024

Wild Trout Trust members should now be receiving this year’s issue of our annual journal, and we hope you enjoy it as much as ever!

Salmo Trutta 2024 goes large on the physical structure and function of our waterways, and we’re particularly grateful to David Sear for contributing our lead article on this subject: why restoring our rivers’ physical habitat is so important.

We also owe a huge debt of gratitude to many other big names who’ve contributed thoughtful words and spectacular wild trouty images: Steffan Jones (for our amazing front cover shot), Paul Procter, Richard Noble, Sir Andrew Baird, Gösta Serlachius, Malachy Tallack, Jamie Stevens, Andrew King, Dylan Roberts, Eoin O’Gorman, Simon Tilbury and Craig Ballenger, as well as our very own Jonny Grey, Denise Ashton, Theo Pike, and ace designer Rebecca Hawtrey who’s laid it all out so stylishly.

David Lloyd RIP

Posted on May 13, 2024

David Lloyd RIP

All at WTT are very sad at the news of the death of our trustee, David Lloyd.

David joined WTT as a member in our earliest days, and became one of our trustees in 2018. 

He brought us his expertise from a highly successful career in public relations, and his undoubted passion for rivers, their trout and their conservation. 

OEP report, May 2024: UK law ‘not delivering as intended’ for our rivers

Posted on May 10, 2024

OEP report, May 2024: UK law ‘not delivering as intended’ for our rivers

The UK’s environmental watchdog, the Office for Environmental Protection (OEP), has just issued a damning report on the government’s ongoing failure to protect our rivers, lakes and coastal waters.

As part of its remit to monitor how well environmental legislation is working in practice, the OEP has conducted a review of key legal provisions contained in the Water Framework Directive and their implementation by Defra and the EA.

The report concludes that the current target, requiring 77% of waters to reach good ecological status or potential by 2027, is likely to be missed by a wide margin.

Calling chalk stream poets…

Posted on May 07, 2024

Calling chalk stream poets…

Have you ever felt inspired (or devastated) by the beauty and plight of our chalk streams?

If so, you may be interested in this new writing competition to find two Chalk Stream Laureates and help to spread the word about these rare and beautiful rivers.

According to this blog post from Mark Wormald, medals will be presented to winners (one under 18, one over 18) at the Houses of Parliament on 18 June in the same week that Sarah Green, MP for Chesham and Amersham, brings her own Private Member’s Chalk Streams (Protection) Bill to the House of Commons. Sarah’s Bill aims to provide specific additional protection for chalk streams from pollution, abstraction and other forms of environmental damage.

WTT 3-Fly Challenge 2024

Posted on April 30, 2024

WTT 3-Fly Challenge 2024

This year’s annual WTT 3-Fly Challenge will be held at Meon Springs on 15 June 2024, and it’s always an eagerly-awaited day on the water.

As in previous years, our 3-Fly Challenge is a friendly event that’s as competitive (or not) as you choose to make it.

Proceedings start with breakfast before moving on to fishing, using one of three flies which will be provided for you on the day. The competition is all a matter of skill, judgement and sometimes luck, with points awarded according to the fly used and the weight of the fish caught. Lunchtime is always a cheery affair, with an auction as well as the official prize-giving.

A poem for Richard Slocock

Posted on April 26, 2024

A poem for Richard Slocock

Hundreds of people gathered in the extraordinary setting of Milton Abbey School in early April to remember WTT co-founder, Richard Slocock.

A series of beautiful tributes from family and friends included this poem, penned, then read at the service, by Richard’s brother, Michael. We thought you might enjoy it and, for the many who knew Richard, appreciate its fitting sentiment.

Do you know a lady who’d like to be introduced to fly-fishing?

Posted on April 24, 2024

Do you know a lady who’d like to be introduced to fly-fishing?

Update: our randomly-generated prize draw has now taken place, and this wonderful opportunity to learn the skills and techniques of river fly fishing for wild trout and grayling has been awarded to Ann-Marie Edwards. We hope to publish a report in our Autumn Newsletter.

Yorkshire-based fishing guide Phillippa Hake kindly donated a lot for this year’s WTT Spring Auction, and it’s been bought by one of our members who would now like to give it away to a lady who’d enjoy learning more about this sport which many of us find so absorbing.

Phillippa’s auction lot was described as:

River Nar film at the 2024 Sportfish Spring Spectacular

Posted on April 16, 2024

River Nar film at the 2024 Sportfish Spring Spectacular

Update: in case you missed the premiere on Sunday 21 April, The River Nar: A Chalkstream Restoration is now available to watch on YouTube HERE

You can also find all the other videos via the Sportfish Spring Spectacular events schedule HERE.

The 2024 Sportfish Spring Spectacular takes place online this weekend, Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 April, and all of us at WTT are looking forward to watching the premiere of a beautiful new film with our founder and Vice-President Charles Rangeley-Wilson as part of the festivities.

Malham Beck project video

Posted on April 12, 2024

WTT Research and Conservation Officer, Jonny Grey, has been working with two local farmers on Malham Beck in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. They were keen to return to more natural wet meadow systems and this was achieved by taking the artificial stone banks that were constraining the river and redistributing the material into the river. This allows the beck to return to the processes of erosion and deposition, creating more natural, complex, diverse habit for trout and other wildlife.