River restoration and biodviersity report

Posted on October 03, 2016

A new report published by the IUCN  (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) UK identifies the importance of river restoration for biodiversity.

It recognises that:

'Historically, the conservation movement has paid relatively little attention to rivers. Various types of wetland are very well represented in protected areas, but rivers themselves are hard to conserve in this way, not least because they are often the focus of so much human activity. Yet, rivers are of huge importance for the biodiversity they hold, and the ecosystem services they deliver'. 

Vacancies with the EA in Sussex and Hampshire

Posted on October 03, 2016

The EA are looking for two people to lead the fish monitoring programme across Sussex and Hampshire.  This is an exciting opportunity to join the Environment Agency  for someone who has experience in electric-fishing, fish identification and number-crunching.   The vacancies are for 12 months.

Details are here. The post reference is 2944, Environmental Monitoring Office

Award for de-culverting project in Sheffield

Posted on September 19, 2016

Congratulations to WTT Trout in the Town Programme Manager, Dr Paul Gaskell and the partnership who delivered the Porter Brook Pocket Park Project – it has just won the prestigious 2016 Canal & Rivers Trust award for "Contribution to the Built Environment".

This is a project that we hope will inspire others to free their urban rivers from culverts and create a three-fold ‘win’:  

–      a win for the river and its wildlife,

–      a win for the local residents who have a pocket park with a living stream to enjoy,

–      a win for flood defence as the design incorporates flood storage for a spatey river

Paul will use the considerable experience gained on this project to help urban ‘Trout in the Town’ groups plan and deliver similar daylighting projects.

Vacancies with the River Forth Fisheries Trust

Posted on September 16, 2016

The River Forth Fisheries Trust are recruiting three new members of staff to help deliver RiverLife: Almond Avon, an ambitious catchment restoration project aiming to reconnect communities and wildlife to their local rivers.

The roles are: Capital Projects Manager, Community Engagement Officer and a Volunteer Coordinator.

For more details and to view the job descriptions, click here.

The Big Feller!

Posted on September 12, 2016

The Big Feller!

Mike Blackmore of the Wild Trout Trust recently ran a practical demonstration day on the River Test in Hampshire, together with Rupert Kelton of the Wessex Chalkstreams & Rivers Trust, the Test & Itchen Association and hosted by riparian owner, Richard Maitland.

The day, attended by seventeen people including many full-time Test keepers, demonstrated a range of simple, natural habitat improvement techniques. The mighty band of volunteers ate through the work, putting eleven large habitat features into a 200m river reach, including hinged-in trees, brushwood berms and a number of big log deflectors, created from huge sycamores and alders. Mike withstood the pressure of an audience of professional river-keepers as he dropped both trees right onto the necessary (and pretty tight) spots!


Small willows hinged into the margins of the Test make great habitat for trout and many other species.


Big trees work well too!

Mike Blackmore fells a huge sycamore, subsequently chopped up to make log deflectors to provide habitat variety in a fairly uniform river reach.



Dr Dylan Bright

Posted on August 30, 2016

Dr Dylan Bright

The world is a hugely poorer place after the recent death of Dr Dylan Bright, formerly Director of Westcountry Rivers Trust.

Dylan was in the vanguard of the rivers trust movement, a pioneer for the principles of paid ecosystems services or natural capital and a fervent advocate for the health of our rivers and their catchments. Dylan possessed an awesome intellect but a self-effacing nature and a gentle capacity to put anyone at ease. I remember his humour and infectious laugh with great fondness. Many, many people are mourning Dylan’s loss, testament to what he achieved in our watery world and the breadth of his friendships. A rare fish – we’ll not see Dylan’s like again.

Click here to read the tribute to Dylan on the Westcountry Rivers Trust website.

New partnership with Yorkshire Water

Posted on August 17, 2016

New partnership with Yorkshire Water

According to the Environment Agency statistics for 2015 (Cycle 2), 84% (492 of 585) of waterbodies in Yorkshire do not achieve ‘good ecological status or potential’ under the European Union Water Framework Directive classification. To contribute to countering this worrying statistic, our northern Conservation Officers, Jonny Grey & Gareth Pedley will deliver projects across Yorkshire in line with the government’s Catchment Based Approach plans for river management. These will be in collaboration with the EA, the rivers and wildlife trusts, anglers and local community groups, under a new partnership developed between Wild Trout Trust and Yorkshire Water and supported by the Yorkshire Water Biodiversity Fund.

We will run a series of hands-on events, where groups can get directly involved in practical work to restore, improve and maintain becks, rivers and wetlands and their environs. Each event will highlight to participants the pertinent issues impacting upon the environment at a particular site, such as water usage, land use, barriers to connectivity, and pollution. Then we will carry out focused habitat improvements, working to make life better for the plants and animals that live by and in the water, and the local people who enjoy their surroundings.

Our goal is not only to significantly improve the condition of rivers and wetlands in Yorkshire using professionally guided volunteers and community representatives, but to create, as a legacy, a network of environmental stewardship groups to care for these vital areas into the future.

Habitat improvement through weir notching on Eastburn Beck

Posted on August 15, 2016

Last week, the first stage of a project to improve habitat along a tributary of the River Aire in N Yorkshire was completed by our Research & Conservation Officer, Jonny Grey, and local EA Fisheries Officer, Pete Turner. Some info on the wider plan is available via the WTT blog, here.

A social media summary of the weir notching has been put together via Storify, here.

Ponds, Rivers and Poultry, 29 October, Hay on Wye

Posted on August 12, 2016

An open meeting to discuss the impact of intensive poultry production in Powys on our freshwater ecosystems will be held on Saturday 29th October 10.00 am to 3.30 at Llanigon Village Hall (near Hay on Wye).An event organised by the Brecon and Radnor Branch of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales.

Speakers include:

Steve Ormerod, Professor of Ecology at Cardiff University, Chair of RSPB Council and leading expert in freshwater ecosystems

Brexit: water, farming and land use - a massive opportunity?

Posted on August 01, 2016

Farming practices and land use have an enormous impact on the quality of our rivers and the biodiversity they support.The debate is underway about what Brexit means for farmers, land use and water. 

Click here for more information on the Environmental Audit Committee inquiry into the Future of the Natural Environment after the EU Referendum, including issues on the future of funding for biodiversity and agri-environment schemes, and other useful links to the current debate.

Dr Jenny Mant joins the WTT as a Trustee

Posted on July 27, 2016

Dr Jenny Mant joins the WTT as a Trustee

Jenny joined the WTT as Trustee in June 2016, and is already well known to the Trust as a judge of the WTT Conservation Awards where she has used her wide knowledge of all elements of river management to assess some really fantastic initiatives over the last 6 years.  

In January 2016, Jenny joined Ricardo-AEA as a principal consultant in their water sector team. Projects in her first six months have included directing projects related to the integrated water cycle management for a water company, monitoring recommendations for river restoration (to keep her hand in), assessments of fresh water pearl mussel streams in Wales and supporting water company drought plan assessments. 

Prior to January 2016, Jenny was head of the technical team at the River Restoration Centre for 14 years where she carried out numerous river restoration advisory visits and stakeholder workshops both in the UK and Europe.  She also supported the board of directors to deliver the company's strategic operational plan and managed the technical team and budgets.   Whilst there she managed the development of the updated River Restoration Manual and the practical appraisal monitoring guidance (PRAGMO) which was translated into Japanese and provided Jenny the opportunity to demonstrate its use there – and to visit a range of fascinating river restoration projects. 

National Fishing Month Launch at Sportfish Reading, Friday 22 July

Posted on July 14, 2016

Sportfish Reading are hosting the launch event for National Fishing Month on 22 July. For full details of the event, click here.

The launch event will be a customised day full of hands-on angling opportunities, the event focus is on youngsters and newcomers and falls in line with the core ethos of National Fishing Month. 

There will be tutored fishing on the lake, one-to-one advice from some of the biggest names in the sport, and demonstrations throughout the day that will illustrate just how easy it is to get started.

Enter your project for the WTT Conservation Awards!

Posted on July 14, 2016

Applications for entries to the WTT Conservation Awards close on 31 July.The form filling part of the process is minimal and short-listed applicants will be interviewed by the judges who will seek to tease out the important stuff. 

Winners of the awards for Contribution to Wild Trout Conservation (formerly amateur entries) and the Medium-Sized Habitat Enhancement Scheme both receive a trophy and £1000; all three award winners enter the pantheon of greats.

Enter your project, large or small now ! 

What the Wild Trout Trust Did in 2016

Posted on June 27, 2016

If you missed the WTT's Annual Get Together recently at Langford Lakes in Wiltshire, here is a five minute recap of what the Wild Trout Trust managed to do for trout streams across the UK between summer 2015 and summer 2016.

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Mike Swan talks on mink & water voles, 14 July near Reading

Posted on June 27, 2016

Mike Swan, hugely respected adviser with the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust, will talk on the topic of mink and water voles to the Loddon Fisheries & Conservation Consultative on Thursday 14 July 2016 at Swallowfield Parish Hall, near Reading, RG7 1QX. Kick off 7.30pm.

Mike is a great speaker and the subject will be of interest to everyone involved with river conservation