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Showing posts from 2015

Porter Brook - Part of the Deculverting Process

Picking up from my previous post of the in-channel habitat creation - here are just a few photos to give an impression of the site's previous states.

This gives a bit more of an idea of how little of the river was allowed to see the open air until pretty recently. Sheffield City Council have been steadily working to expose this buried watercourse...

















So, a great deal of credit deserves to go to Sheffield City Council and their planning/landscape people. I will be putting together video of this project (which should hopefully include some drone footage to give a good overall impression).

Watch this space...

Paul

Porter Brook - Channel Habitat Improvement in De-Culverted City Centre Stream

There will be more pictures and video to come to document this bold project by Sheffield City Council to uncover a section of stream that used to live beneath a factory floor. They are in the process of creating a "pocket park" that will provide new flood-water storage (when the rivers are in spate) and an improved public park amenity (when the rivers are calm).

The pocket park itself will be excavated out from the current high ground level (and a major construction project is underway at the moment to achieve this).

The Wild Trout Trust were brought in to design in-channel features and riverbed morphology that would maxmise the improvements for the ecology of the stream - including for the prospects of a small and fragmented native population of wild brown trout.

The site after uncovering the stream - but before the in-channel works
Part way through the Pocket Park Construction - new gabion walls and flood defenses
Channel with boulder clusters, log deflector-consolidated poi…

Friends of The Dearne - Open Village Day Report

It was a great pleasure to be involved at the end of this summer with a vibrant "Open Village" event in Clayton West in the Kirklees region of West Yorkshire. As well as the many musical, local business and art exhibitions - a local angler and wildlife enthusiast Phil Slater had arranged an event to help reconnect people with their river. Alongside Chris Firth MBE of the Don Catchment Rivers Trust we hoped to increase the awareness of the river and the challenges it faces.

So many of the local families that came to the riverside activities (including bug dipping and fly casting lessons)came away with a real enthusiasm for the river and its future care and enhancement. It was a great testament to Phil's own passion for the river and the commitment he has made to see things continue to improve on this tributary of the Don (in 2015, right down at the confluence with the River Don, the first salmon parr was recorded on the Dearne in an Environment Agency survey).

The river …

Never Mind the Environment - What About Our Jobs and Economy?

Westcountry Rivers Trust worked on 5 river catchments. For every £1 they spent on restoration - between £1.91 and £4.50 of economic value to society was gained (Click Picture to view full size)
It seems to be quite a common view that "nature" is a "nice to have" once we have taken care of jobs, business and the economy in general. A bit of a luxury when we've got some loose change left over from taking care of progress...

The problem with that is it misses the point that nobody will be doing business/earning money without functioning, healthy ecosystems. You'd struggle to breathe, for example, if there isn't enough photosynthesis happening.

The epic (and fantastic) project to restore rivers in five catchments in the south west of the UK (by Westcountry Rivers Trust) included work by independent financial analysts "NEF". The costs of doing habitat improvement and restoration were smaller than the economic value that they added to the Westcountr…

Lyme Brook Habitat Work Explained in Interpretation Board

A brand-new panel explaining how and why the habitat works have been done on the Lyme Brook in Newcastle-under-Lyme has now been installed. This is an invaluable addition to the existing works because it allows walkers and other park-users to really appreciate the transformation.
The panel has been installed next to the first feature (a new gravel spawning riffle) that was installed at the beginning of this project. Passers-by can now learn about all the activities at that point and also as they follow the path along the stream up through the park.


Fish Passage Is not Only For Salmon: Trout Being Reconnected to Blocked-off Spawning Habitat On The Ribble System

Jack Spees lays out some great examples and surprising facts (and some absolutely remarkable radio-tagging data) in his video presentation.

All this in a little over 15 mins?

Have a brew and a biscuit and check it out.





The Emperor's New Flood Protection

It has been a little while now since flood-waters (and how to manage them) were front page news. The dredging lobby got their wish - despite the negligible effect this would/will have on protection or recovery in the event that similar rainfall hits Somerset.

Little attention has been paid to one isolated part of Somerset that didn't flood during the deluge - the part where upland floodwater storage measures had been put in place...

Ten years down the line, progress towards adopting DEFRA's "Making Space for Water" policy is glacially-slow.

This progress seems even poorer given that these notions of managing flood risk have been with us since the 1920's and earlier...

Why should this be the case?

Dr. Karen Potter has been a Biologist, A Town Planner and now researches the science behind how and why certain ideas are blocked in Society - and how some ideas are Solidified and Enacted.

Watch her fascinating talk for all the insights into why we are currently locked…

The Duddy Clan and Greater Manchester's Recovering Rivers

A nice piece in the Telegraph covering the efforts and experiences of Mike Duddy - compared and contrasted to those of his son and his father. It shows how, with the ongoing ecological recovery in the heartland of the industrial revolution, their rivers have been perceived very differently by the 3 generations. Great references are also made to the work on London's River Wandle - which means that the Trout in the Town project has made contributions to both the case-study projects featured in the story...

Click here to read the article

What happens to the funding and volunteer support given to the WTT?

Well, here is Wild Trout Trust Director Shaun Leonard giving a summary of some of our achievements over the last year. It was the opening presentation of this year's Annual Get Together of the WTT - which was held on the banks of the River Ribble on the weekend of June 6th and 7th 2015. I'll be putting up more presentations - including fantastic, game-changing stuff on flood risk management as well as experiences of fisheries "going wild" as an alternative to stocking/put-and-take.

As Shaun says, if you've ever wondered what your rod licence money is spent on - well a little bit of it has been spent by the WTT doing the following things for UK rivers in 2014/15...











If you think that these projects and the rest of our work are worthwhile - and if you want to contribute to ensuring that wild trout can survive and thrive in our rivers in the future - please consider joining us and supporting our work. You will get access to a great social network of informed anglers …

Poacher Turned Gamekeeper: Using Tampons to detect River Pollution from Misconnected Sewers

Professor David (Barney) Lerner and his colleagues in both the University of Sheffield and the Friends of Bradford's Becks have come up with a wildly practical and cheap way to solve a notoriously difficult and expensive problem.

Put Simply, you take a tampon out of its packet, dip it into the stream (or leave it in there if the pollution is suspected to be intermittent). Then take it out and shine a UV torch onto it. The Optical Brighteners used in detergents will fluoresce under the "black light" and you can begin to track down the source of the misconnection.

Full stories are covered here: The Guardian

and here: Wired

The Friends of Bradford's Becks is a great role model for other "Trout in the Town" groups - and we were delighted to have Professor Lerner speaking at our last Urban Conclave (video below).

We are also happy to play a part in the restoration of habitat on the Bradford Beck itself (see here for a recent habitat Advisory Visit report in sup…

What a difference a week makes - contrasting fortunes of headwater streams

I went to visit Stuart Llewellyn and other members of Llanrwst Angling Club last week to assess sections of the main river Conwy – as well as a previously invaluable sea-trout spawning tributary the Afon Cae Person in Llanrwst itself. The hugely positive impacts of works to fill in approximately 200 km (and counting) of drainage ditches on Migniant Moor and return a natural “sponge” effect to the top of the Conwy catchment were visible in the clarity of the (rising!) water following rains. Such enlightened progress makes it even more inexplicable that one of the most important sea-trout spawning tributaries on the system has been trashed through an entirely inappropriate flood-prevention scheme. The culvert that was previously responsible for one prior recorded flooding event on the Afon Cae Person had already been tackled prior to the scheme’s construction. Moreover, alternative schemes to provide additional channel capacity could have been implemented without need to concrete over…

Weir and Culvert Removal - why do even "non migratory trout" need that?

Many urban streams (as well as rural ones) suffer from modifications that place barriers between different pieces of habitat. Very often the habitat that fish use as adults is some distance from the habitat that they use to reproduce.

What happens when there is a barrier between the two?



And if you think that this is only possible in the USA - have a word with the people at Chester-le-Street Angling Club who completed partnership project work (with the Wild Trout Trust as one partner) to install flow baffles in the base of previously impassable culverts. They now have good numbers of sea trout spawning upstream in places that they could not previously access.

Crimes in Welsh Concrete: Preach on Brother Pike

The redoubtable Theo Pike with a timely and thoughtful contribution on the recent "flood defense" works on Afon Cae Person, Llanwrst..

http://www.urbantrout.net/afon-cae-person-llanwrst-conwy-councils-masterclass-in-trashing-an-urban-stream/