Monday, 18th December 2017

The Environment Agency (England) make charges to review and approve applications to carry out most work in the river. This process, called Environmental Permitting, is something that WTT (and its partners such as rivers trusts and angling clubs) goes through for most projects that we deliver on a ‘main river’.

The principle of the Environmental Permitting Regulations (EPR) is good. Everyone – farmers, contractors, fishing clubs, charities - must ensure that the work that they are doing will improve the river and not cause any issues such as flooding.

However, the costs associated with this process are planned to increase substantially and will become a significant element in the types of habitat improvement projects that we deliver.  We operate with limited and fixed budgets for our projects, so in practice this means we will spend more on obtaining a permit and less on actually delivering the habitat improvement.
In some cases, the cost of obtaining a permit will be prohibitive; clearly something we want to avoid.
The proposed charging scheme is complex and we’re working our way through it, but, as an example, it seems that work to protect a piece of eroding bank, more than 10m in length, using brash (so-called ‘soft’ engineering) will incur a permit charge of over £1000.

Before implementing these changes (planned for April 2018), the EA are carrying out a consultation; see here.

If you have an interest in river habitat improvement work, please respond to the EPR section of this consultation by 26 January 2018.
We’ll publish our response on our website ahead of this date.

Monday, 18th December 2017

Working with local groups, whether they are angling clubs or conservation volunteers, is a critical part of our work. Building skills and enthusiasm in volunteers to improve river habitat means the work carries on long after we have moved to the next project.

Slowly but surely we are improving the River Lark in Suffolk so that it supports more trout and more wildlife generally. Some of our projects on the Lark have been large scale and professional, involving WTT Conservation Officers Andy Thomas or Rob Mungovan directing large machines and just a few volunteers (see 'The Lark Sings')

The most recent project was very much volunteer led-see video below with Rob Mungovan.
And read the article in the local press here.

There is one consistent name in all these projects – Glenn Smithson. His dedication to improving the River Lark has been the driving force behind all this work. All rivers need a Glenn! 




Sunday, 17th December 2017

Chalk is a full length documentary film about chalk streams and chalk stream fishing. It is a beautifully shot, lyrical and informative film with a great cast which features many Wild Trout Trust friends and supporters including WTT Director Shaun Leonard and WTT Founder and Vice President, Charles Rangeley-Wilson.

The documentary covers many of the highlights of the chalkstreams and their history: the revered mayfly hatch, the dry fly revolution and the 'dark art' of nymphing, the weedcut, and the manicured estates of the Rivers Test and Itchen, but also draws attention to the wilder, less well-known, rivers of Yorkshire, Norfolk and Dorset and the uncertain futures of these iconic rivers.

You can watch Chalk on the Video on Demand platform ‘FishingTV which allows you to rent or buy the film.



Wednesday, 13th December 2017

With very many thanks to all those who donated prizes or bought tickets, here are the winning ticket numbers and we will be in touch with the winners to organise the prizes:

1st Prize kindly donated by Sage - ticket number 3335

2nd Prize kindly donated by The Peacock at Rowsley - ticket number 3405

3rd Prize kindly donated by William Daniel & Famous Fishing - ticket number 4128

4th Prize kindly donated by The Wild Trout Trust - ticket number 3641

5th Prize kindly donated by The Wild Trout Trust - ticket number 1535

Tuesday, 12th December 2017

The most vulnerable stage within the life-cycle of salmonids is typically from swim-up fry through the earliest juvenile phase. Of course this is when it is also most difficult to keep track of them due to their small size. Add to that, the strategy in some populations to up-sticks and leave the natal river for the open sea... then the knowledge gap here is huge.

Thankfully, with advances in acoustic telemetry, scientists are learning more about where smolts go and at what rate. To tell us a little bit about this field, Isabel Moore from the University of Glasgow has contributed an overview of her PhD research on two sea lochs, one of which contains a fish farm. Check out her blog, here

Don't forget there is a wealth of information in the series of interesting contributions from Early Career Researchers, all in a readily digestible format, so please do have a trawl back through the blog pages and contact them if you have any questions.

Monday, 11th December 2017

Owing to staff illness, WTT’s 2017 raffle draw on 12 December will take place at the Trust’s registered office and not at the Thomas Lord pub, West Meon, as originally advertised. Please accept our apologies if this causes any issues for our members.

Wednesday, 6th December 2017

The Wild Trout Trust is collaborating with Dr Axel Wessolowski to get his book translated into English and published in the UK by using ‘crowdfunding’.

His book is currently published in German and is called ‘Biology of Fly Fishing’.
It is an unusual book, written by a scientist who is also a journalist, based on scientific papers but designed for the fly fisher. It includes fascinating insights into salmonid's sense of smell, taste, hearing, how they use their lateral line, how they see and many other topics.
Lots of illustrations and photos bring the descriptions to life. The insights provided by this book will add a new dimension to your fishing.

WTT staff members Dr Tim Jacklin and Professor Jon Grey will edit the translation. Axel is donating a portion of the book sales to the WTT for practical in river habitat improvement projects.

We encourage you to support his project and sign up for an early copy of the book and the option of some original drawings and photos from the book. 

The crowdfunding page is here  - check out the offers and opportunities to obtain a copy of the book and some lovely goodies !



Tuesday, 5th December 2017

Salary in the region of £44,000. Full time post.

The Wessex Chalk Stream and Rivers Trust is a charity dedicated to the protection of the chalk-based rivers and catchments of the Wessex region (East Dorset, Hampshire and Wiltshire). The Trust works in partnership with landowners and farmers, schools, wildlife trusts, fisheries and fishing clubs, water companies and government agencies to achieve our goal.

The Trust is seeking an experienced leader with a passion for rivers and the environment as well as skills in operational management, fundraising, education and partnership based projects. The Director will report to the Chairman and Trustees and manage the current team of four Project Officers. 

Following its success in delivering projects, securing funding and appointment as Catchment Partnership Lead, the Trust is well positioned to extend its work. The Director will have an outstanding opportunity to have a positive impact on the Wessex chalk rivers and their catchments.

For a role description and skills profile, go to the Wessex Chalk Stream and Rivers Trust’s website 

Location can be flexible within the catchment area.

Applicants are requested to submit a letter of application and CV by Friday 5 January to Lee Bush – Administrator for WCRST at

Monday, 4th December 2017

New rules come into force in England from April 2018, laying out how farmers should manage their land to protect inland waters. The eight rules lay out, for example, that manure should not be stored or applied on land within 10m of a river, that land within 5m of a river must be protected from livestock poaching and that feeders must not be placed within 10m of a river.

Click here for more details.

The rules are to be policed by the Environment Agency, but crucial to that policing is that the Agency is informed of transgressions and that’s where those of us that spend lots of time on our rivers can help.

Get to learn the basic rules from the link above and contact the Agency on their Pollution Incident number 0800 80 70 60 if you see anything that seems not be playing by the rules.

The issue may not be an immediately significant pollution incident, but calling this number and getting the issue logged and reported is important evidence that can be used if the problem persists.  

soil erosion cattle feeder by a river

Playing by the rules ?

Friday, 1st December 2017

Bangor University is looking for a MRes student for a project on Arctic charr in Llyn Padarn, N Wales, where the species has been heavily impacted by a range of factors, including the Llanberis Hydro scheme. More information is here

Closing date imminent, 4 December.

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