Tag Archives: Partnerships

Get ready for London Rivers Week 2017

Get your diaries out and calendars open, the dates for London Rivers Week 2017 have been confirmed!

LRW logo finalLondon Rivers Week 2016 brought together many partners across London, delivering a total of 35 public events to get everyone involved with their local river. This year, we want to make it even bigger and better.

London Rivers Week 2017 will start on Monday 26th June and run through to Sunday 2nd July. During this week, organisations across London will put on a variety of river themed events including cleanups, guided walks, information talks, citizen science taster sessions and more.

To find out more about London River Week, check out the Thames 21 website page where all the events will be listed: http://www.thames21.org.uk/londonriversweek/

Until then, keep your eyes peeled for more details on what is to come!

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Outfall Safari on the Hogsmill

ZSL and the Hogsmill Partnership are looking for volunteers to help us map polluted outfalls on the Hogsmill this October.

While walking the Hogsmill you may have noticed all the different pipes that can be found along the river bank. These pipes are usually part of our surface water infrastructure, transporting clean water from our roads and roofs into the river. However in some cases, these pipes or outfalls can be polluting the Hogsmill as they have been misconnected.

Polluted Outfall

Misconnections are a BIG issue for urban rivers and the Hogsmill Catchment Partnership have been working hard to start addressing this on the Hogsmill River.

A misconnection is when a toilet or washing machine has been connected to the surface water drain heading straight to the river, instead of the sewer system. You can read more about misconnections at on the Connect Right website.

Connect Right

This October, ZSL are running an Outfall Safari to map all these pipes heading into the Hogsmill, and assessing their condition to check for misconnections.

Volunteers will receive training on how to recognise signs of pollution at these outfalls and record the pipes on a new smartphone app. This survey data will greatly improve our understanding of the river system and help to target sources of pollution.

Interested?

If you would like to join the team, you can sign up on EventBrite to register your interest. Once you’ve registered, more information will be sent to you about where and when the training sessions will take place.

Sign Me Up!

For more information contact by email: Joe.Pecorelli@ZSL.org, or phone: 07974 725 557
Outfall BannerPlease register your interest to help at: hogsmilloutfalls.eventbrite.co.uk

You’ll need to read this before your training session: 2016-Pre-training-information-for-Hogsmill-Outfall-Safari-Volunteers..pdf

The Beverley Brook Needs Your Vote!

Bags of HelpThe Beverley Brook Catchment Partnership have been successful in securing a Tesco grant from the Bags of Help fund – but we need your vote!

If you are shopping in the Sutton/Cheam area between now and Sunday 9th March, why not shop in a local Tesco store and give your vote to our project?

With your votes, we could get an extra £4000 to the project! The money will be used to make improvements to the Beverley Brook through Richmond Park following our recent restoration works. There will even be community planting days which you could get involved in.

So what are you waiting for, go vote for Project Two: Richmond Park River Enhancements!

Our Project

 

Fish Passage on the Cuckmere

We have been working in partnership with the Cuckmere and Pevensey Levels Partnership to deliver a fish passage project at Sessingham Weir on the Cuckmere.

The weir currently causes an impassable barrier to fish, preventing them from accessing all the habitat required for a healthy lifecycle. This in turn can make fish less resilient to other pressures such as pollution and climate change.

Many fish species thought of as being non-migratory will in fact, given the opportunity, make substantial movements within a river system, particularly to find good spawning habitat. In unobstructed rivers, species such as roach may move 10’s of kilometers. By making the weir passable to fish, we will reconnect approximately 6.2 km of valuable habitat upstream and downstream.

Unfortunately due to the presence of a water pipe running underneath the weir it cannot be fully removed. In September we permanently lowered the weir blade and have already seen some fantastic habitat improvements such as increased flow diversity.

Before and After at Sessingham Weir

We are now planning to remove the redundant weir gate and are designing a solution to make the weir passable to fish.

The Catchment Based Approach in action: Natural flood risk management in Stroud

When it comes to protecting communities from the worst impacts of natural disasters like the recent floods in Cumbria, York and Manchester, it’s easy to feel a little helpless in the face of global-scale influences like El Nino and the possible effects of climate change.

But as one of the warmest and wettest Decembers on record spills over into a grey and soggy January, and flood risk management continues to dominate the national conversation, here’s a fascinating case study that shows how local communities can use the Catchment Based Approach to make a real difference in their local area.

This video from Stroud District Council shows how residents are working with landowners further up the Frome catchment to slow the flow of heavy rainfall down these steep valleys, using natural materials to hold flood water back in the hills and preventing it from hitting vulnerable urban pinch-points all at once.

It’s a lot less expensive than many other heavy-engineering-and-dredging solutions to flood defence. And, as part of a community and catchment approach, it looks much more likely to succeed and be sustainable in the long term too…

Welcome to Chris: Our Catchment Manager

ChrisWe are pleased to welcome a new member of Staff to the South East Rivers Trust: Chris Gardner, our new Catchment Manager.

Chris has joined us with 17 years of experience as a fisheries scientist in both the public and private sectors. He has also led on a number of peer reviewed papers on fish migrations ranging from coarse fish in large lowland rivers to salmonids (trout and salmon) in chalk streams like the Wandle.

Chris will be helping us deliver the Catchment Based Approach across our area in the south east, working closely with our partners to deliver ecological benefits to our rivers and their catchments.

“I’m really looking forward to working in the third sector, delivering real improvements on the ground and monitoring the success of river rehabilitation by demonstrating the ecological response to such interventions.”

So welcome Chris!

We’re looking for a website developer

Together with some of our partnerships, we would like to create an interactive website to provide information about two river catchments in Kent. The website will enable effective partnership working by facilitating the sharing of information about solutions and ongoing action to enhance rivers. The brief can be downloaded here: Interactive Catchment Plan_Project Brief

Please submit quotes to jobs@southeastriverstrust.org by 4pm on 19th August.

Could you be our new Catchment Manager?

This position is now closed. 

We’re looking for an enthusiastic, natural leader with a good level of knowledge of river and catchment enhancement techniques.  The role will support new and existing partnerships across the SERT area, bringing people and organisations together to identify and discuss catchment issues and develop projects to tackle them.

Further details can be found here: CatchmentManager_JobDescription; and an application form here: CatchmentManagerApplication.  If you would like to apply, please submit your CV (2 pages maximum) together with a completed application form by 12 noon on Thursday 4th June 2015.

What do your local rivers mean to you?

You have the chance to have your say in how your local river is managed in the future. 

The Environment Agency has published draft River Basin Management Plans for every river in the UK and they want to hear your opinion!

To help you get involved and add your voice, WWF have created an easy way to make your opinions heard.

Got a couple of minutes? Answers these quick 5 questions. 

Got a bit longer? Give us more detail on what you value to be important to your local river here. 

Share this with your friends and family – #SAVEOURWATERS

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Earthwatch & South East Rivers Trust Wandle Walk

Working in partnership with Earthwatch, the South East Rivers Trust were proud to host two river walks along the Wandle as part of the H2O Development Programme.

Wandle Walking

The H2O Development Programme is a unique opportunity for participants to learn about environmental issues, spend time outdoors working with scientists and community members, and explore what sustainability means to organisations – and to them. During the programme, participants become citizen scientists and take an active role in scientific data gathering by joining the global FreshWater Watch community working together to promote freshwater sustainability.

Talking and Walking

Bella and I gave our banking guests a tour of the River Wandle from Carshalton Ponds to our river restoration works on Butterhill, sharing the journey of our Trust from its volunteer beginnings to its current expansion into the South East Rivers Trust.

Water Sampling

On both walks, we also stopped to take water samples from the Wandle, comparing the water quality at the groundwater source (Carshalton Ponds) with water further downstream.

We were even lucky enough to see a kingfisher and a heron on our walks!

Heron

All photos courtesy of Earthwatch.

Earthwatch

FreshWater Watch

Continued effort at making the Hogsmill a little more welcoming for eels

A joint effort between the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), the Thames Anglers Conservancy (TAC) and South East Rivers Trust continued the ongoing efforts to assist elvers/eels with the final stages of their long 3500 mile migration from the Sargasso Sea up into the Hogsmill catchment. In August last year, the same partners installed an eel pass onto the most downstream obstruction in the catchment at Clattern Bridge, Kingston, which showed immediate signs of success with the first elvers ever being recorded further upstream at the ZSL eel monitoring site the following week.

Upstream of Clattern Bridge the next obstacle, the Environment Agency’s gauging weir, has already an eel pass installed for several years and so this time we turned out attention to the next weir upstream. Although a few incredibly determined eels have successfully made it past this obstacle, the weir  does without doubt prove to be the end of the line for many. With its vertical face, smooth sloping concrete surface and fast flows, the elvers generally have little chance of clinging on and and making it to the calm of the river bed upstream.

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The sloping weir with vertical face

In order to provide purchase and slower the flows, yesterday eel tiles were installed to the weir, guiding them in at the downstream end, helping them up and over and feeding them safely into the slack water at the bed upstream. A custom built debris deflector  and bracket to mount the tiles to the wall adjacent to the vertical face were manufactured by Norm Fairey, our regular go-to handy man.

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Eel tiles fixed to the concrete slope

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Vertical tiles to help the eels over the weir crest

Once completed we wandered down to have a look at the eel pass on the gauging station. It appears that the brush material makes a perfect media for plants to establish in, especially our arch nemesis Himalayan balsam. Concerned that the root network would be clogging the pass we set about unbolting it from the wall.

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Is it an eel pass or a hanging basket?

What we found was a densely matted root system which would have prevented even the smallest elver from getting through. Each section of the pass was removed, cleared and reattached ready for the first visitor to utilise. On the whole a very satisfying day.

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No way through!

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All clear and ready for the first migratory visitor

It will be interesting to see the effects that these actions will have on this years monitoring undertaken by ZSL and the keen volunteers. We will keep you posted with any news. This project was funded by Defra through the Catchment Restoration Fund.

A big thanks to David Harvey and Neil Depledge from TAC and Joe Pecorelli from ZSL. 

To see updates from the Wandle, please check out the website