River Ecclesbourne, Derbyshire

Another autumn is upon us and trout are undertaking their seasonal migration to find good habitat for spawning. In rivers, this usually means an upstream journey into headwaters and tributaries where the resulting offspring can spend their early lives before colonising the wider river system (or sea, in the case of sea trout). This migration can be over considerable distances (tens of kilometres) – but only if the way is clear. Man-made barriers litter our watercourses, on average one every mile (1.5km) in British rivers, stalling or preventing migration and greatly limiting fish populations.

On the River Ecclesbourne in Derbyshire there are two such barriers and the Wild Trout Trust is working in partnership with the Environment Agency, landowners and others to try and overcome them. Success will make miles of good spawning habitat accessible, not only for trout but also salmon which have been returning via the Rivers Trent and Derwent in recent years, after being absent since the Industrial Revolution. The short film (below) by wildlife cameraman Jack Perks introduces the project.

Watch this space for updates as the project progresses. Contact Tim Jacklin tjacklin@​wildtrout.​org for further information