WTT trains 140 people in practical river habitat management

Spreading the knowledge about how to manage river habitat is a really great way to ensure that more rivers are improved for the benefit of wild trout and all wildlife in the river and on the banks.
Mike Blackmore, WTT Conservation Officer, has just completed a series of seven workshops in the Middlesex and Hertfordshire area, funded and supported by the Environment Agency (Nancy Young and Rob Pearson).

Each day, a group of 20 participants were given hands on experience of a whole range of river management and habitat improvement tasks, including installing large and coarse woody debris, creating flow deflectors, cover logs and making brash bundles to narrow the channel. In between the hard work in the river, Mike explained the principles behind the activities.

Discussions over lunch included the process for getting permission for a project, and water saving ideas — a key message in this area of over abstracted chalk streams — and Allan Beechey of the Chilterns Chalkstreams Project took a kick sample of invertebrates and explained the Riverfly Monitoring programme. 

making faggot bundles on the River Gade

I shall most certainly put the knowledge gained to good use on the stretches of river controlled by my club’

Participants included members of local volunteer conservation groups, Wildlife Trust staff, EA Ops Delivery teams and fishing clubs. Feedback suggests that everyone enjoyed their day, and more importantly, many people are now planning more sympathetic maintenance as well as habitat improvement projects on their local river. The WTT will continue to support them with reference materials, how to’ videos (click here) and follow on advice for project planning and delivery

Team at work on the River Ver

I still can’t get over just how quickly the river flow was changing after our cutting and building. The trout” guys obviously know exactly what they are doing.’
The first of these sessions was run on the River Chess in October 2012 (click here for details), and the success of this day inspired the sessions on the Ver, Gade and Colne. Funding permitting, we hope to run many more of these days. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact Mike Blackmore at mblackmore@​wildtrout.​orgNarrowing the river Gade