Thursday, 14th February 2013

The announcement today of the formation of the South East Rivers Trust, as an extension to the highly successful Wandle Trust, is excellent news and we look forward to working with them. 

The Wild Trout Trust has worked with the Wandle Trust for many years, and they were the inspiration behind the WTT’s ‘Trout in the Town’ programme. We are also active in supporting habitat improvement in Kent , most recently on the Stour at Godinton Park (click here for more information).

Press Release
River restoration partners announce formation of new South East Rivers Trust

The Wandle Trust, The Rivers Trust and the Environment Agency are delighted to announce the formation of the new South East Rivers Trust to help engage communities with conservation and restoration of their local rivers across Kent and south east England.

The rivers trust movement has grown rapidly in recent years, with a vibrant network of individually motivated community-led initiatives operating throughout over 80% of UK river catchments. One of the few areas without widespread rivers trust coverage is south east England. The Rivers Trust and the Environment Agency have been exploring options to enable the formation of a trust that can complement and work alongside other existing local organisations delivering river conservation work including the Kent Countryside Management Partnerships, which is co-ordinated by Kent County Council.

After much consideration, it was agreed that a nearby Trust extending its current area of operation would be the most efficient means of capitalising on existing expertise and avoiding unnecessary duplication of effort.

Rivers trusts apply the ecosystem approach at a catchment scale, and have a strong ethos of community engagement and partnership working with other bodies including farmers, landowners, water companies, other environmental NGO’s and angling groups. In collaboration with the Environment Agency and many local partners, the Wandle Trust has a proven track record of delivering complex river restoration projects across south west London, with a unique blend of scientific expertise and volunteer engagement.

Accordingly, the Wandle Trust has now agreed to extend its area of benefit to cover the Kent and the south eastern area where rivers trusts do not currently operate. Over time, the charity is likely to evolve fully into the South East Rivers Trust, whilst continuing to operate as the Wandle Trust within the Wandle river catchment, and to develop river restoration projects as the South East Rivers Trust with all interested partners on the wider stage.

Wandle Trust and South East Rivers Trust Chairman Theo Pike said:

“This is a hugely exciting development both for the Wandle Trust and the whole rivers trust movement, and we’re very much looking forward to engaging with local people across south east England who are already doing so much for their rivers. But it’s also business as usual on the Wandle, where our recent Catchment Plan consultation has told us how south London’s communities want to see the Wandle improved, and we’re now starting to deliver these improvements with partnership funding from Defra and the Environment Agency. Watch this space for much more news!”

Wandle Trust and South East Rivers Trust Director Dr Bella Davies said:

"Rivers are such an integral part of a landscape and hugely important to many communities - so it is a pleasure to be asked to work across a larger area, helping to restore more rivers in partnership with others and supporting the good work that is already underway. We are also delighted to be able to help close the gap in rivers trust coverage in the south east and support the Rivers Trust in bringing greater benefits for rivers and their communities across the country."

Environment Agency Regional Director Howard Davidson said:

“We are pleased to help facilitate this agreement which will see Rivers Trust coverage extend to cover Kent. By bringing together the proven experience and expertise of the Wandle Trust and the Countryside Management Partnerships, this agreement will assist the Environment Agency in delivering more for the environment especially our Water Framework Directive targets.”

Rivers Trust Director Barry Bendall said:

“Aquatic ecosystems are vital in supporting the needs of our society and yet they are fragile environments, under enormous threat from human activities. Re-connecting society with these environments and enabling communities to take ownership for delivering conservation work in partnership with other public and private organisations is a major challenge, but one that rivers trusts are extremely suited to and one that can ultimately deliver the maximum benefits. I am therefore delighted that such a well established trust as Wandle has decided to extend its hand out to other partners in the South East in a bid to maximise the conservation opportunities of such important resources.”

KCC Kent Countryside Management Partnership Manager Kate Phillips said:

”We are delighted to support the new SE Rivers Trust; it is an opportunity to strengthen the excellent work that is already happening across Kent. The Countryside Management Partnerships will use their extensive network to help develop and deliver river projects with organisations, businesses and volunteers. By working together we can continue to help improve the quality of our rivers as well as people’s enjoyment of them and their surroundings.”

Notes to editors:

1. The Wandle Trust is an environmental charity dedicated to restoring and maintaining the health of the River Wandle and its catchment ( in the London Boroughs of Croydon, Sutton, Merton and Wandsworth.  Recent changes to the Wandle Trust’s Articles also enable the Trust to work in partnership with the Environment Agency and other organisations outside the Wandle catchment.

2. As part of the development of the South East Rivers Trust, the Wandle Trust will sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Kent Countryside Management Partnerships.

3. The Rivers Trust is the umbrella body of the rivers trust movement in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and has an MoU with a sister organisation in Scotland (RAFTS). The Rivers Trust is an independent charity representing the rivers trust movement nationally and internationally, and promoting a catchment based approach to river restoration within a framework of sound science, partnership, facilitation and avoiding duplication of effort.

4: The Kent Countryside Management Partnerships are a collective of organisations run to help manage habitat and landscapes in partnership with local communities. CMPs provide a wide range of services across the county of Kent and the London Borough of Bexley. They bring together many organisations to help maintain Kent's landscape and wildlife, as well as support Kent's communities, and play a vital part in the conservation and enhancement of the Kent countryside. For more information please go to

For more information on the Environment Agency, please direct all media enquiries to 0118 953 5555; out of hours 0800 141 2743. Please ask for the duty press officer.

For more information on the Wandle Trust and the South East Rivers Trust, please contact Theo Pike on mobile 07941 955 511, or via email

Tuesday, 12th February 2013

WTT member Stuart Crofts has featured on a BBC Lancashire programme where he talks about the challenges facing our rivers, including biosecurity. To listen to the programme, click here.

Wednesday, 6th February 2013

A new Irish study has revealed levels of genetic diversity in Irish populations that are greater than genetic diversity between the entire human race. 13 different varieties of brown trout in Lough Corrib had already been identified by Inland Fisheries Ireland.

‘’Thin and streamlined like a herring, croneen trout are a pelagic fish, designed to swim long distances to spawn. The croneen population in the Lough Derg catchment of the Shannon’s main stem retreat to the small Camcor river in Co Offaly, 50 kilometres away, to spawn.

Another trout variety in the river Suir, which hasn’t yet been named, was found to travel 78km from the river Nier in Co Waterford, where it is born, down to the main stem of the Suir’’.

The study, whch also characterized trout migrator movements also found that spawning in the eight mile Owen Brin river, one of the smallest Mask sub-catchments, supplied more than 40 per cent of the adult population of trout in the lake. This highlights the conservation value of such spawning areas and this pattern is repeated right across Ireland.  

Ireland’s lakes support such fine Lough trout fisheries in part due to their cold temperatures which rarely exceed 20C in the summer. Among other things, this study highlights the importance of genetic diversity to Irelands trout populations; a characteristic that is likely to be instrumental in helping trout populations survive climate change (for further information on the impacts of stocking on trout genetic diversity, see the WTT’s stocking page by clicking here.)


For further information on the study click here.


Wednesday, 6th February 2013

A discovery has been made of a population of North American Signal Crayfish in the River Eden in Carlisle.

This is the first reported incidence of signals in Cumbria. For the ITV news report, click here

Wednesday, 23rd January 2013

The 2013 WInter edition of the Deveron Flyer Newsletter has just been published. 

Among other stories was the welcome news that the community lead biosecurity programme is to be extended for 2013. For biosecurity projects to achieve any modicum of success, efforts have to be sustained and past successes (such as mink and Japanese knotweed removal) built upon. To view this story and other news (such as revisons to catch and release regulations in the catchment); please click here.

Wednesday, 23rd January 2013


John Dullaway's passion for art began with the discovery of ancient aboriginal carvings he found when playing in the Australian bush as a boy. Now based in Sweden, he combines ancient and contemporary techniques to make bold, unique work. As an angler himself, fish are a favourite subject. A limited run of signed, numbered prints are available bly clicking  here.

In addition, for every print sold to WTT members, a £5 donation will be made to the trust. Simply enter "Wild Trout Trust" into the "Instructions to seller" box with your order.



John Dullaway's 'Pike'.

Wednesday, 23rd January 2013

The Atlantic Salmon Trust's (AST) 2013 auction has been running on their website (click here to be redirected to the auction).

The aim of the auction is to raise money for Atlantic salmon conservation. The lots are varied and incude fishing & shooting offers from around the UK. Some money will also go towards the work of RAFTS (The Rivers and Fisheries Trusts of Scotland). 

A map of the auction lots is displayed; the WTT auction in Feb/March will also feature a map setup. 



Friday, 18th January 2013

It has long been believed that running water has a therapeutic effect on human beings. Charities like Casting for Recovery  (link here have used flyfishing to harness the healing qualities of rivers to help breast cancer patients. Now a great new initiative in the USA (Reel Recovery Retreats) has taken off for men. A feature film is being shot following a group of men with cancer who have come together for three days of healing, relaxing and fly fishing at a Reel Recovery Retreat at The Wildhorse Ranch in Mackay, Idaho.

For more details on this worthy initiative and to donate, go to their website.

Friday, 11th January 2013


A 'Chalk Stream Summit' was held in Stockbridge, Hampshire in December, attended by over 100 interested parties (including the WTT)  from chalk streams all over the UK - not only Wessex, but the 'Cinderella’  chalk streams of Lincolnshire, Norfolk and the Chilterns.
The meeting was organised by Martin Salter of the Angling Trust and Paul Knight of the Salmon and Trout Association for Richard Benyon, Environment Minister, with the intention of raising the profile of this unique and threatened habitat to DEFRA, the EA, the responsible minister and to the All Party Angling Group, led by George Hollingberry MP. The result was a commitment by George Hollingberry to create a ‘Chalk Stream Charter’.  

Whilst the WTT’s focus is on practical habitat advice and projects, we will be involved in the Chalk Stream Charter process and will use our knowledge and experience to influence the lobbying organisations including the S&TA and AT, and to support them in addressing the issues facing our chalk streams.    

More details about the meeting can be found here 

Our President, Charles Rangeley-Wilson’s response to the meeting is here

Charles has made a film about the threats to our chalk streams with WWF, which is available to view from our website - click here



Wednesday, 9th January 2013

Over the next few months, the WTT team will be finding, filming and producing a sequence of footage documenting the lifecycle of trout. The footage will be used in a series of conservation films. For now, tasters of this footage can be seen in the Trout in the Town blog. To see the first film in this sequence, click here.

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