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Big Jump Crowd Funding Campaign to remove Rothley Weir

Big Jump Crowd Funding Campaign to remove Rothley Weir

This week the Trent Rivers Trust launched a crowdfunding campaign to remove Rothley Weir and “ecologically reconnect” a 8km stretch of the river, asking for small donations to help restore the Brook to a more natural system and allow Eel, Trout and other fish free passage once more.

Rothley Brook is a tributary of Leicestershire’s River Soar. The 33km river has unfortunately been neglected and heavily modified, which has driven biodiversity loss, habitat destruction and poor water quality. The Trust’s fundraising is part of The Big Jump, the first ever simultaneous international campaign to remove obsolete dams and barriers from European rivers. Led by WWF, one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organisations, Big Jump 2021 is highlighting the poor state of many rivers and how removing old and useless barriers can swiftly benefit people and nature. Rothley Brook is the only UK-based river conservation project to feature in The Big Jump.
As we face a biodiversity emergency, restoring our rivers is an important objective of the Trent Rivers Trust.  Dams have long been a problem for our rivers. They impede the passage of fish to spawning grounds, alter the river bed in a negative way and cause the loss of important habitat through inundation. The Big Jump will combat this. Every pound we can raise will take us closer towards restoring important habitats and natural services that our rivers should be providing for the wildlife that lives there.

The campaign launched this week and donations can be made via the link below

https://crowdfunding.wnf.nl/project/rothley-weir-rothley-brook-leicestershire-uk

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TRT Launching the River Eye Catchment Farming Group

The Trent Rivers Trust are launching the River Eye Catchment Farming Group to tackle sediment and phosphorous runoff in the River Eye. This is all thanks to Defra’s Green Recovery Fund #GreenRecoveryChallengeFund and complements our ongoing restoration work in the River Eye SSSI.

We are excited to work with landowners and farmers across the catchment to discuss and implement positive changes for our watercourses.

We also hope the group, as a catchment scale partnership, will be a beneficial networking opportunity, where we can discuss topics such as how #FarmingIsChanging and the new Environmental Land Management Schemes (ELMS).

The group will partake in free activities such as farm visits & plans, walkovers and local events tailored to farmers’ interests within the Eye catchment. We also hope to fund capital works at a few selected locations.

If you would like to find out more and whether you are in the catchment, please contact Amy on amy@trentriverstrust.org or 07384 632368.

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RECRUITING: Finance Assistant

The Trent Rivers Trust

is looking for a

Finance Assistant

This is an exciting opportunity for an experienced Financial Assistant to join a growing charity, reporting to the Finance Manager to assist with activities of the charity’s finance function. Applicants will have proven financial management skills and have strong partnership development and team working skills.

Based in Ilkeston, Derbyshire with some home working and involving occasional travel across the Trent catchment

Part time (16 hours on average), Permanent

Starting salary Starting salary £10,150 – 16 hours per week on average (£23,790 FTE)

You can view the Job Description HERE

Applicants wishing to apply for the post must complete the application form HERE and forward this to rosie@trentriverstrust.org before the closing date

Closing date for applications: midday, Friday 30 July 2021

CVs and other forms of application will not be accepted.

No agency applications, please.

If you have any questions about the role, please contact: rosie@trentriverstrust.org

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A drier path for people and water for wildlife on Ripley Greenway – our work continues

What an exciting day 22nd April was. We planted the mini-wetland, which we started back in 2019, and added to this wildlife habitat by creating a hibernaculum.  This little wetland provides habitat for aquatic plants and animals passing along the brook and the newly created hibernaculum provides homes for insects and amphibians, such as newts and frogs.

7 young people from Derbyshire Adult Community Education Services (DACES) had a fun day helping us create this new home for wildlife.

On 7th May, we hope to hold a Covid-compliant volunteer day to seed and plant the swales, with volunteers from the general public, Rethink Derbyshire and The Friends of Ripley Greenway.

And finally, in the near future, we will be installing permanent interpretation signs on the Greenway to explain about the benefit of this work and where this fits with our wider The River Starts Here! project.

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Trees on the Trent – new milestone reached

This season we have planted 5000 trees as part of our Trees on the Trent Project.

The trees have been planted along the River Trent and one of its tributaries to increase bankside habitat whilst shading the river.

With the threat that future climate changes poses to the temperatures of our rivers, trees offer an important temperature regulation service amongst other benefits.

Want to find out more about how trees are helping in the fight against climate change?

Click here -> https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/trees-woods-and-wildlife/british-trees/how-trees-fight-climate-change/

But…we’re not done yet! So watch this space for news on next year’s planting.

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Extinction: Freshwater fish in ‘catastrophic’ decline

What’s being reported?

Reports warn of a “catastrophic” decline in freshwater fish, with nearly a third of species threatened by extinction.

Conservation groups said 80 species of freshwater fish were known to have gone extinct, 16 in the last year alone.

In UK waters, the sturgeon and the burbot have vanished, salmon are disappearing and the European eel remains critically endangered.

“Nature is in freefall and the UK is no exception: wildlife struggles to survive, let alone thrive, in our polluted waters,” said David Tickner, Chief Freshwater Adviser at WWF.

Read the BBC article here

Why do we care?

Freshwater fish are important for a variety of reasons including;

  • Essential for healthy functioning of rivers
  • Conservation value – we have a responsibility to limit our impact on native faunal populations, cathartic and mental wellbeing
  • As a source of food
  • Source of income through angling and pet trade

How are we affecting fish populations?

The main ways that humans are impacting on the freshwater environment are;

  • Impoundments – weirs and dams for hydropower, flow gauging, abstraction, flood risk
  • Pollution – point source (such as sewage outflows) / diffuse pollution (such as agricultural pollution), sedimentation, alterations to water chemistry.

What are TRT doing about it?

At TRT one of our biggest priorities is reconnecting rivers, with both their floodplains and headwaters in order to reinstate natural processes and ensure that fish can access these necessary habitats. In 2013, TRT undertook a large fish passage at Darley Abbey on the River Derwent, modifying the existing impoundment to facilitate the passage of fish. The project opened up ~10 km of previously inaccessible habitat.  We have also removed smaller barriers to fish movement, such as a series of step weirs at Oakthorpe Brook in 2020. In 2021, TRT will be undertaking a number of weir removal projects, reconnecting tributaries of the Soar and Cole with vital headwaters.

 

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Weston in Staffordshire River Restoration

A river restoration project has been completed on the Trent at Weston in Staffordshire.

The 2km length of river had very few features in the channel due to historical engineering and drainage works.  Before the restoration scheme, the flow was smooth with little capacity for the river to break down pollution, leaving no areas for fish to take refuge.

 The river banks were steep with very little flood plain connection.

Here at Trent River Trust, we have been working to enhance the river’s natural features and processes by implementing a range of techniques.

Re-profiling the river banks change the river’s flow around the bend to encourage deposition and more habitat variation on the river bed. Gravel was introduced to the channel to create riffles, increasing the oxygen levels and developing new habitats for invertebrates and fish spawning.     A backwater was excavated to create refuge for fish away from the main channel as well as introducing woody debris to help slow the flow and create a wider range of habitats on the river bed.

The increase in riffles, gravel and flow types helps the river break down pollution. The features installed help stimulate a range of natural processes, that will continue to develop over time.  The river now includes a much wider range of natural features such as islands, riffles and gravel bars. In several areas, trees have been planted to provide bank stability habitat and shade over the channel.

WATCH THE WORK BEHIND THE PROJECT:

If you have any enquires please contact: enquires@trentriverstrust.org

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Great news for The River Eye and Trent Rivers Trust

We are delighted to announce that the Trent Rivers Trust has received a grant of £124,500 from the government’s #GreenRecoveryChallengeFund. Thank you to Heritage Fund UK for the grant! #TogetherForOurPlanet 

This amazing news means TRT can deliver improvements to the River Eye catchment and allow us to continue our work to restore the SSSI. This project will contribute to connecting people with nature, through working with landowners to identify ways of improving land management across the catchment to reduce pollution and to benefit wildlife.

As well as retaining 2 existing members of staff, this funding has allowed TRT to employ a young newly qualified officer to work with landowner’s part time on the River Eye and other existing projects to build experience and knowledge.

TRT has for a number of years wanted to carry out improvement works to the River Eye SSSI by implementing options identified and developed from the Strategic Restoration Plan. The project aims to improve wider land management by introducing measures to;

  • Reduce silt run-off
  • Manage phosphates
  • Manage flood risks through natural means
  • Increase tree cover

 

The restoration of the SSSI will be a continuation of work started by TRT in 2016. As the river is currently being assessed as being in unfavourable condition, TRT want to restore it by;

  • Increasing channel sinuosity
  • Retain large woody debris
  • Raise bed levels
  • Carry out tree management
  • Implementing new farming methods to manage high sediment and phosphorus run-off

 

These works consist of constructing in channel and bank features to conserve, enhance, restore and rehabilitate geomorphological features along the river to improve the biodiversity and resilience of the SSSI.

The completion of restoration works to the SSSI is a starting point for further restoration across the Eye catchment. Not only does the project aim to engage with 60 farmers, the SSSI restoration work will bring a community together by celebrating the works through social media and website updates. TRT will provide support to engage and raise awareness of river restoration with the Ernest Cook Trusts Estate’s (ECT) programme of events for school aged children.

This project will have a very positive environmental impact, both related directly to the SSSI site and in relation to the promotion and adoption of longer term positive environmental management across the wider River Eye catchment.

Want to learn more? Contact us: enquiries@trentrvierstrust.org

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60 mins of fishy tales with Trent Rivers Trust

Today we are celebrating World Fish Migration Day (WFMD) by hosting our very own online micro-event: “60 mins of fishy tales with Trent Rivers Trust” 

To join the fun head, to our Twitter or Facebook pages where we will be sharing some exciting projects we have delivered at:

At 12.30pm we will be hosting our first ever “Twitter Storm” (to see how to take part watch this video on Twitter or Facebook) where you can join us in talking about all things fish.

Just use the #trtlive and join in the fun!

Our younger supporters can read “An Incredible Journey” a children’s book that introduces the salmon life cycle and concepts such as ecosystems, keystone species, salmon culture and stewardship.  Or have some fun colouring awesome fishy pictures, the book and colouring pages can all be found on the WFMD webpage.

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How Natural Flood Management in Southwell improved flood-risk resilience

During its three-year lifespan Southwell’s FRAMES project improved flood-risk resilience in the present day and for the future. Here are some of the project’s successes, impacts, and lessons learned.

Multi-layered approach

FRAMES involved pilot projects collaborating across five countries and aimed to integrate the Multi-Layered Safety Approach (MLSA) into future flood risk policy.

MLSA combines flood-prevention engineering methods with spatial planning and measures to boost community resilience and recovery. Combined, these four “layers” (see diagram, right) improve overall flood-risk resilience.

All 16 FRAMES pilots have demonstrated the success of this modern, integrated approach.

The Southwell FRAMES Pilot

Trent Rivers Trust (TRT) led the Southwell Pilot project, which sought to improve flood resilience in Southwell through natural flood management (NFM) intervention and community engagement.

The Southwell catchment is 6km2 and features clay soils with steep topography. The town itself has a history of floods including two recent events, a 2007 winter flood, and the 2013 summer flood at which 107.6mm of rain fell in 75 minutes; around 250 properties were flooded and the main road out of Southwell collapsed.

TRT worked with Southwell Flood Forum, the National Flood Forum and Nottinghamshire County Council to deliver this FRAMES project, “Improving Flood Resilience in Southwell.”

Dr. Josh Wells, project manager, says three key lessons were learned during Southwell FRAMES:

  • Communication is vital: with landowners and stakeholders,
  • Collaborate and involve all stakeholders, which means cutting across both geographical and political boundaries,
  • Monitoring: we must monitor and document the impact of the project and pass this knowledge on and leave a lasting legacy.

IMPACT: NFM interventions can help to store water and reduce flood risk

A corner of the field bund

Southwell FRAMES demonstrated that natural flood management (NFM) interventions within the upper catchment of the river can help to store water and reduce flood risk.

Working closely with landowners, Trent Rivers Trust installed 43 NFM measures across 12 landholdings. These now provide around 4000m3 of water storage within the upper catchment.

TRT installed a number of different NFM interventions to achieve this volume of water storage:

Corner of the field bunds within agricultural land, to reduce overland flow during high intensity rainfall events. These were monitored using time lapse cameras with data showing that they fill during intense rainfall and drain once high flows have passed.

A leaky barrier in Southwell

Leaky barriers within farm ditches and watercourses. They reduce the speed of any flood waves into the town and provide further storage and floodplain re-connection.

Raised cross drains along farm tracks where overland flow was documented. Previously, water was flowing onto the main road during high rainfall events; the cross drains now divert this water into constructed bunds and have improved safety and resilience locally.

IMPACT: Tree planting creates new woodland

The project created a new 0.1ha area of cross slope woodland, with 190 trees planted within a field in the upper catchment by TRT and Nottingham Trent University postgraduate students.

The woodland will increase soil infiltration rates and evapotranspiration whilst increasing the local biodiversity value of the area.

IMPACT: Building social capital and community resilience

The flood preparedness and awareness of the Southwell community has increased. Residents are more resilient and have taken on some responsibilities to manage flood risks. This was accomplished through physical and digital communication, community events and working closely with business owners and the Southwell Flood Forum.

IMPACT: Wetland scrapes add water storage capacity and create new wetland habitats

We constructed wetland scrapes along the River Greet, connecting them to the watercourse to increase floodplain storage capacity and to create additional wetland habitats.

A wetland scrape (photo CMB Contracting)

This work included the removal of a dredging bank to increase floodplain inundation frequency upstream of the town. The scrapes create an extra 1000m3 of water storage which become active during high flows.

Ponds were also constructed within the catchment to hold water whilst providing additional habitat.

Again, time lapse imagery demonstrated that they fill during high flow events and then drain once peak flow has passed and so a positive benefit of the storage ponds has been recorded.

IMPACT: students get SuDS appeal with runoff cutoff

Several sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) measures were piloted in Southwell through the project.
Rain garden planters were installed on the Nottingham Trent University campus and planted by student volunteers.

The planters temporarily attenuate runoff from buildings which would otherwise enter the drainage system. They look great too, so improve the visual appeal of the student accommodation.

PROJECT DISSEMINATION AND COMMUNICATION

Trent Rivers Trust worked with stakeholders throughout this project, building their capacity to address flood risk and their knowledge about the Multi-Layered Safety approach.

Our communication and dissemination activities sought to:

  • Increase stakeholders’, policymakers’ and decision makers’ knowledge and understanding of the use of NFM within flood risk management projects,
  • Increase their knowledge and understanding of the Multi-Layered Safety approach,
  • Facilitate knowledge-exchange between flood risk and resilience practitioners,
  • Collect and share data and evidence to inform future flood risk management policy.

NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL ATTENTION

A total of 178 organisations were informed about the successes and lessons learnt during the project. We have given presentations, talks and lectures to:

  • The Trent Regional Flood and Coast Committee.
  • The Nottinghamshire Strategic Flood Risk Management Board.
  • The Nottinghamshire Biodiversity Action Group (a presentation and demonstration site visit, which increased the knowledge of local practitioners on the use of NFM and its ability to enhance the environment).
  • The Nottingham Open Spaces summit and during the East Midlands Council’s Planners conference – these presentations enhanced the knowledge of local practitioners of the spatial application of NFM.
  • Our Senior Catchment Manager, Kim Jennings, gave a lecture to the Fluvial Geomorphology and River Management students at Nottingham Trent University to further build the NFM knowledge capacity of early career river managers.
  • The River Restoration Conference and the Westminster Insight Conference, to promote the project at a national scale, with both talks well received and generating plenty of discussion.

We hosted many site visits during the project, including by scholars from Beijing’s Institute of Water Research which promoted the project at an international level.

PACKED EVENT AND WIDESPREAD MEDIA COVERAGE SHOWCASES LEARNING

Towards the end of the Southwell FRAMES project TRT convened the Flood Risk Management for the Next Decade conference, in Newark in February 2020. This showcased Southwell’s MLS approach to a wide range of national practitioners. The event also highlighted successful examples of collaboration, effective communication, use of public-domain data, partnership-building, community engagement and empowerment, and the importance of multiple, integrated measures for flood risk management.

This fully-booked event developed practitioner understanding of NFM whilst allowing for discussion of future flood risk management policy.

It was covered in the media by national UK magazine, Environment Journal and the BBC, which broadcast interviews with TRT’s Kim Jennings and Josh Wells every hour on its afternoon and evening news bulletins.

A series of short video interviews with event participants also contributed to our dissemination and communication activities. The interviews, posted to TRT’s website and YouTube channel, also demonstrate how the MLS approach integrates engineered measures for flood risk management with spatial planning, emergency response and resilient recovery.

Through this substantive media coverage and video interviews, the evidence of Southwell FRAMES’ impact reached thousands more members of the public at a time of great interest in policy and practice relating to flood risk and resilience.

WHAT NEXT?

TRT continues to advocate for an integrated approach to flood risk management and resilience. We are now delivering other NFM projects across Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Staffordshire. TRT is recognised for the excellence our team bring to all stages of the process including feasibility studies, landowner liaison, design, construction and monitoring.

Thanks for your interest in our Southwell FRAMES project. Please do contact TRT if you would like to know more about TRT’s NFM projects.

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