Skip to main content

Loneliness of the long distance runner...


Studying the paperwork on existing projects (and having met a number of the staunch activists involved in these things) set me thinking about the personal qualities required to take on urban habitat restoration. The moniker "unsung heros" about hits the nail on the head I think. Making things happen by shear force of will, personality and persistence takes a very special (and rare) breed. It can be especially hard when none of your immediate peers are able to offer advice and practical support - simply because you are in uncharted territory with very little precedent for guidance. That's why the WTT thought that it could be helpful to get the key people from all the Trout in The Town projects across the UK together for a workshop social event. Advice and lessons learned from bitter experience will be shared/commiserated along with encouragement from those seasoned campaigners who have overcome obstacles that others are still to face. Make no mistake, these projects all come under the category "marathon" rather than "sprint". A little booze-fuelled refreshment stop/group therapy session along the way might just help to keep a spring in the step of our urban green space heroes and heroines. More details will follow when this concept is fleshed out fully.
Pictured is the post-industrial River Goyt (Andrew Parker's baby) at New Mills near Stockport - a tributary of the river Mersey. Another of the many precious streams we hope to safeguard and see go from strength to strength under local stakeholder stewardship.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

First Survey Record of Wild Trout Returning to Lyme Brook Habitat Works Site!

You may have seen the first three phases of works on the middle reaches of the Lyme Brook (shown in previous blogs Here and Here) from project works that began in 2015...

Well although the first surveys after that work found some nice coarse fish populations - there was no cold hard evidence that any trout had found the newly-improved habitat...Until now!
I received a phone call today from Matt Lawrence who is the EA's Catchment Host for the Trent Valley Catchment Partnership (with key partners Groundwork West Midlands and the Wild Trout Trust who conceived and delivered the habitat works). Matt told me that he'd had some exciting preliminary reports from a EA Midlands fisheries surveys team. Their survey on 7th September had caught several wild trout as part of their sample on the habitat works site.
These are the first modern records of trout in the brook and is also the exciting news that we have been waiting for on these first phases of work to create spawning, juvenile an…

How Volunteers in Sheffield Make Big River Habitat Projects Successful

You've done a big, ambitious partnership project to deculvert a section of urban stream, but now the civil engineering contractors have gone to their next job. The site is left to mature...what next? Very seldom does this kind of project have any budget for ongoing ecological monitoring (which is a frequent and justified criticism of habitat improvement works - the lack of ecological effect data).

The same can be said for general "husbandry" of the site - whether it be litter or invasive plant control; or even fairly substantial running repairs...

Step in SPRITE (Sheffield Partnership for Rivers in Town Environments) whose site you can check out on http://www.sheffieldsprite.com, the Sheffield Trout in the Town group and a supporting donation of pre-established planted coir products from Salix River and Wetland Ltd. (with their site here: https://www.salixrw.com)

You can see SPRITE talking about their aquatic invertebrate monitoring and see their repair and site care wo…

A previously buried section of stream produces the first fly caught trout in >160 years

As near as I can work out from the archaeology report, this section of river - recently brought back to the surface in dramatic fashion by Sheffield City Council, the EA and the WTT partnership - was buried in a low brick tunnel somewhere around 1853 to 1868. The northern half of the site was certainly buried underground BEFORE the time the 1853 map was produced....and the rest of the brick tunnel was placed over the top of the stream before the map of 1868...

Of course, it is not easy to tell what the water quality was like in that section even BEFORE the stream was buried...and whether there were trout surviving in the stream when it was sealed underground...

What is damned sure is that you couldn't wave a fly fishing rod around in that underground tunnel once they'd built it!

This was still the case until the completion of the massive project to remove the brickwork and create an attractive "pocket park" in the city centre. You might have seen from This Previous …