Tuesday, 30th August 2016

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.

Deepest condolences from all at WTT to Dylan’s family and friends.

Dr Dylan Bright

Wednesday, 17th August 2016

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.

On the Aire at East Riddlesden, Jonny is coordinating a project to restore two spawning tributaries and create a large semi-permanent wetland which will not only benefit wildlife but also contribute to natural flood management. This is a partnership with the National Trust, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, Bingley Angling Club, and local volunteer groups.

On the Nidd, Knaresborough Anglers will be working with Gareth and volunteers over a couple of days to create and restore riparian cover.

In collaboration with the Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust and their Mid Swale Tributaries Project, work is planned to reduce the amount of diffuse pollution, essentially soil, entering Skeeby Beck.

If any of these events are local to you and you are interested in attending, please contact Jonny in the first instance. Keep up to date with developments via the news pages, via Twitter, or via the WTT Blog.


Monday, 15th August 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.

Friday, 12th August 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

Natural Resources Wales

Julian Jones, Director, Radnorshire Wildlife Trust

Kate Adams, Head of Land Use, Wye and Usk Foundation

Morning: Presentations and discussion of evidence Afternoon: How can public help to protect freshwater habitats?

Cost includes refreshment and buffet lunch £5.00 per person for CPRW members, £7.50 for non-members

For further information and to book telephone 01874 676225

Monday, 1st August 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.

Wednesday, 27th July 2016

Jenny MantJenny 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. 

Prior to joining the River Restoration Centre, her friends teased her that she was a perpetual student, having completed a degree in Geography at Portsmouth and then stayed a few more years to complete a PhD looking at sediment and vegetation in dryland rivers in Spain.

Jenny’s technical knowledge spans fluvial geomorphology and its impact on/relationship with all aquatic  habitats, natural flood management, stakeholder engagement, project monitoring and wider catchment management.  She also has many years of business experience and for 3 years was chair of  her village’s Millennium Green which provided her with a strong insight into the roles and responsibilities of a Trustee.      

In her ‘spare’ time Jenny enjoys walking, cycling, traveling, tennis and seems to always end up being  involved with projects within her local community. She is never averse to spending time along a river and is happy to get stuck in with the practical side of restoration.  Ultimately anything outdoors and she is happiest.   

Click here for more details about WTT Trustees and Staff.

Thursday, 14th July 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 ! 

Thursday, 14th July 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.


Monday, 27th June 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

Monday, 27th June 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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