BART are working in partnership with the world renowned wetlands expert, Rob McInnes, researchers from Bath Spa University and a local environmental consultancy called Engain, on a project to implement a cost-effective, natural wetland based system for preventing nutrient pollution from entering the Tortworth Brook from sewage treatment works and farm run off. The project has been jointly funded by DEFRA and Wessex Water and is being carried out in partnership with Tortworth Estate.
The project is being developed as a payments for ecosystem services, or PES for short. If this approach is successful, it is hoped that it will form a blueprint for roll-out in many locations, providing cleaner water for our rivers and fabulous new habitats for wildlife.
For more information about how PES projects work, please see the Rivers Trust.
The weather does not stop BART and the EA looking for opportunities to improve our rivers , even when it rains. And there was another very wet person behind the camera!
This damp scene was taken halfway through a day organised by BART to show EA staff some river works which had been completed by Somerfords Fishing Association to improve fish habitat and refuge. It was good to see how well made structures can withstand even the harsh spate conditions suffered on the Bristol Avon in recent years , and that there was lots of greenery showing the structures were still live and becoming an even firmer part of the bankside.
More pictures of this visit and the structures can be seen in the Facebook gallery.
Bart is really excited at the progress being made towards setting up a Volunteers group with Lackham College in Wiltshire. Dr Mark Everard, Dr Sid Jevons and Ian Mock presented to the students about the work of BART and also about Habitats for Freshwater Fish recently and were delighted by the enthusiastic response. Plans are being made during the Summer in readiness to capture their energy by involving the students in project work where they can make a difference and hopefully learn something new at the same time.
If you are a group who would like to consider volunteering together and making a difference to our rivers please contact us.