Over the past month, BART have spent time with 80+ Bristol children and residents as part of our Yellowfish Project. This project aims to raise awareness of water pollution by reminding people that any waste entering outdoor drains may go directly to the nearest stream, river or lake, causing pollution and killing wildlife. We’ve painted over 100 yellow fish near to storm drains, put up over 30 posters and had some great enthusiasm for looking after our aquatic wildlife from everyone involved!
Remember, ‘only rain down the drain!’
Thanks to the Elmgrant Trust for funding this project. We would love to see this fantastic project continued and extended throughout the catchment to achieve maximum benefits, so if you know of any individuals, trusts or businesses who may be interested in continuing this then please do get in contact.
Despite being a prominent feature through the town of Frome, the River Frome is suffering from a number of issues that are affecting the health of the river and the wildlife within and around it.
So what can be done?
Over the last few months a small partnership was formed to take advantage of some Environment Agency funding. The group included the Wild Trout Trust, Frome Angling Club, Frome Council, the Environment Agency, the Friends of Frome and BART. The group set about some river improvements in Rodden Meadow and held a successful Love Your River day at the Frome Canoe Club. More work is planned for the Summer.
BART’s contribution is to try and raise further funds so that the good works do not stop once this project ceases. We want to set up further projects in the Frome area to build on this success, working with the original project team and any others we can interest along the way.
Examples of what we want to achieve are shown below.
Bart want to build on the work already completed by identifying similar areas where a programme of in-stream improvements using natural woody materials will provide valuable habitat to fish and invertebrates as well as greater flow diversity, with flows that will promote scour of the riverbed, cleaning substrates of silt.
BART will begin to map and investigate pollution issues affecting the river and help train volunteers from the Friends of Frome and others to continue this valuable work.
Much of the river is heavily over-shaded and banksides are high and steep, both of which are reducing access to the river for local people and schools. BART believe that access to our water environments is extremely important for our health and wellbeing and therefore we will work with Frome council and others to improve access wherever it is safe to do so
And most important of all we will be building the ongoing relationships with local community groups and landowners necessary to begin to tackle some of the issues which affect water quality and wildlife along the Somerset Frome and its tributaries.
In order to achieve these improvements, BART have teamed up with Downstreams CIC to promote a business powered, community led approach to local river restoration. Downstreams is a non-profit social enterprise that uses an online platform to help to build connections between communities along a river. You can find out more about their work here: http://www.catchmentbasedapproach.org/best-practice/downstreams-cic
We will be updating the progress of the project and local residents will be able to post comments and questions on the following link: https://downstreams.net/project/frome
How can you help?
As an individual –
Local businesses will kindly be providing us with unique codes that each represent a donation to the ‘Fixing the Frome’ Project – all you have to do is go online to activate this and we will receive a donation at no cost to you! Tweet us or send us a facebook message (details below) and we will give you your code and let you know the kind local business who has sponsored your donation. We would also greatly appreciate it if you could share this project with anyone who may be interested!
As a business –
Do you work for a local business who would like to help fund improvements to the River Frome for the benefit of your community? Please get in touch with Downstreams to find out how we could work together! firstname.lastname@example.org
Tesco teamed up with Groundwork to launch its Bags of Help initiative across England and Wales. The scheme has seen three community groups and projects in each region awarded grants of £12,000, £10,000 and £8,000 – all raised from the 5p bag charge. Bags of Help offers community groups and projects in each of Tesco’s 390 regions across the UK a share of revenue generated from the five pence charge levied on single-use carrier bags.
Eight million shoppers voted in store to decide which local groups should receive the £12,000, £10,000 and £8,000 awards and BART are pleased to announce that thanks to your kind votes we achieved 2nd place and we will receive £10,000 for improvements to the River Marden in Calne, Wiltshire!
So what will we use the funds for?
BART were pleased with the success of Phase 1 of the Magnificent Marden Project (http://www.bristolavonriverstrust.org/magnificent-marden-project-end-of-phase-1/), but we are aware that there is still much more to do. Therefore, we plan to continue our coppicing works along the river to increase it’s productivity, as well as to open it up for all to enjoy. We will use the woody materials won from this coppicing to build a series of in-stream structures to increase habitat availability and promote cleaner gravels, essential for invertebrate survival and fish spawning. Keep following our social media and website for updates on this project!
More information on the Bags of Help scheme can be found here: www.tesco.com/bagsofhelp