New film: Reconnecting the River Witham to its floodplain

Posted on February 29, 2024

The Wild Trout Trust and the Environment Agency have just launched a film showing the benefits of floodplain reconnection for the River Witham at Manthorpe near Grantham.

Reconnecting a river to its floodplain can create wonderful places for wildlife and, where landowners agree, allow storage of water to reduce flood risk elsewhere in the catchment.

Our short film shows the river a year and a half after 150 metres of flood embankment were removed to allow this stretch of the Witham to spread out on to its floodplain again.

The State of Our Rivers report

Posted on February 26, 2024

The State of Our Rivers report

The Rivers Trust have published a comprehensive report on the State of Our Rivers in England, Wales Northern Ireland and Scotland.

It does not make for happy reading. Our rivers are not in a healthy state and the situation has not improved since the last report in 2021. 

The report is well presented, with summary data and lots of maps so that you can zoom in on an individual river or catchment. It includes (importantly) a 'Take Action' section.The report is a valuable resource with a plethora of data and analysis for use by any audience including, we would hope, journalists, campaign groups and policy makers. 

Landmark legal case on water quality goes to appeal

Posted on February 23, 2024

Landmark legal case on water quality goes to appeal

In November 2023, Fish Legal and the Pickering Fishing Association won their High Court case against the Government and the EA. The Court ruled that they had failed in their mandatory legal duties to review, update and put in place measures to restore rivers and other water bodies under the Water Framework Directive Regulations.

Check out the Fish Legal web news item for more detail on the case. 

Whilst the Costa Beck was the river in the case, the ruling has huge implications for all rivers in England, which is no doubt why the Government and the EA are taking the case to appeal.

WTT at BFFI 2024

Posted on February 05, 2024

WTT at BFFI 2024

The annual British Fly Fair International is coming up fast, on 10 & 11 February 2024 at its now usual Stafford Showground location.

WTT will be there, on a stand manned by Tim Jacklin, Shaun Leonard, Rob Mungovan and Andy Thomas – they’d be delighted to see you if you drop by. We’ll have WTT literature and a small collection of tackle and fly tying stuff to sell, raising funds for our work. Andy and Rob will also be talking in the Fly Fair Forum Theatre, each opening the batting from 10.30am, on the Sat and Sun respectively. Andy will be talking on river habitat improvement and Rob on practically engaging anglers.

Look forward to seeing you.

More bad news about pet flea treatment

Posted on February 02, 2024

More bad news about pet flea treatment

We reported on the pesticides from pet flea treatments being found in our rivers back in 2020 and again in 2023.

Now more research by the University of Sussex and Imperial College London shows that pet owners using 'spot on' flea treatments risk contaminating their hands with fipronil and imidacloprid, two insecticides, for at least 28 days after the treatment has been applied. Hand washing by pet owners, as well as washing the pets and their bedding, results in pesticides getting into the sewage system.

These pesticides are present in English rivers in concentrations that exceed accepted safe limits for wildlife. This is despite the fact that these chemicals are deemed to be too toxic to be used in agriculture.

Richard Slocock RIP

Posted on January 22, 2024

Richard Slocock RIP

Richard Slocock, a founding father and great friend of WTT, has died, following a short illness. 

Richard managed fisheries in Dorset for over 40 years, joining forces with Charles Rangeley-Wilson in the mid-nineties to conceive WTT, then driving the Trust for many years, including as Chairman. 

All at WTT mourn Richard’s loss and send condolences to Sally and family. A full obituary for Richard will be published in WTT’s 2024 annual journal, Salmo Trutta, out to members in May.

A Fresh Water Future

Posted on January 15, 2024

The Chartered Institute of Water Engineers (CIWEM) have produced this excellent report which is 

'An independent review of water sector performance and governance and a co-created expert, stakeholder and public vision for the future of water management in the UK'.

The scope of the report is wide, not only pollution but abstraction, flooding, and water supply issues. The target audience is clearly those with the power to affect these issues - primarily the Government, current or future.

Ken Whelan: Trout in Strange Places

Posted on January 09, 2024

Ken Whelan: Trout in Strange Places

As a special treat at our Zoom Christmas Get-Together and Raffle in December 2023, WTT members were honoured with a talk from Prof Ken Whelan on his many encounters with brown trout across the globe, sometimes in the most unexpected places.

Leading on from Jon Beer’s outstanding talk in December 2022, Ken demonstrated the amazing adaptability of the brown trout, which he described as the 'fish with a thousand coats'.

It’s a terrific talk; watch it HERE on WTT's YouTube channel.

The effect of floods on trout

Posted on January 05, 2024

The effect of floods on trout

The recent and current floods are concerning for all those affected. Having your house or business flooded is an utterly miserable experience, and farmers staring at flooded fields wondering when they will be able to sow or harvest a crop must be close to despair.

So perhaps the fate of trout in floods will not be at the forefront of everyone’s mind, but it is a question that we get asked a lot. Along with the effect of drought on trout, of course!

WTT Conservation Officer Professor Jonathan Grey looked at the science and wrote this fascinating article for our journal, Salmo Trutta, this time last year.

WTT Christmas Raffle 2023: Here are the winners!

Posted on December 08, 2023

WTT Christmas Raffle 2023: Here are the winners!

Huge thanks to everyone who took part in our Christmas Raffle yesterday evening – we spectacularly achieved our mission to raise £10,000+ so that we can get even more projects off the ground and support our team of Conservation Officers and volunteers.

Thanks to everyone’s kindness, we were able to raise an amazing total of £10,294.

Here’s a list of all our generous donors and winners: