"A Clear Future for our River"

Monthly Archives: August 2016

NEW VACANCY! – Trainee Project Officer










Organisation: Bristol Avon Rivers Trust
Salary: C£15-17000
Location: Bristol Avon catchment
Hours: Full Time, 40 hours per week. Flexibility required (some evening & weekend work)
Position type: Paid
Contract: Full time
Closing date: Applications must be received by 5pm on October 14th.
Website: www.bristolavonriverstrust.org
Contact name: Ian Mock
Contact email: Ian@bristolavonriverstrust.org




The number of projects led by Bristol Avon Rivers Trust’s has grown significantly over the last 4 years and as such the trust is looking to take on another member of staff. This role is an opportunity to join a small team with big ambitions and to help shape the future of the Trust in coming years. Prospects will depend on speed of learning and the ability to quickly help generate income whilst meeting the Trust’s charitable objectives.

The main duties of the trainee Project Officer post will involve delivering and developing BART’s LoCATE Project (Local Community Action Through Education) to individuals, schools and community groups throughout the catchment. However, the successful applicant will often be required to contribute to the other activities and duties of the Trust.

Key duties and responsibilities

  • Develop a thorough understanding of BART’s work to date, and the issues that need to be addressed within the Bristol Avon Catchment.
  • Identify potential partner organisations and individuals and develop working relationships with them.
  • Develop strategies to raise awareness of the issues within the catchment
  • Lead BART’s LoCATE Project to individuals, schools and community groups throughout the catchment.
  • Recruit volunteers to work on catchment restoration and research activities.
  • Develop and submit funding bids to awarding bodies.
  • Contribute and assist in the production of publicity and marketing materials.


Candidate Profile 


  • Degree or equivalent in an environmental science.
  • A confident and clear communicator with experience in directly delivering education & engagement activities with school children & community groups.
  • Knowledge/understanding of riverine ecology and conservation issues.
  • Understanding of legislation relevant to the aquatic environment (e.g. Water Framework Directive).
  • Ability to work flexibly, including some evenings and weekends.
  • Ability to engage and build relationships across organisations with differing objectives and priorities.
  • Ability to prioritise and plan activities.
  • Proven experience of generating budgets and making successful applications for project funding.
  • Excellent literacy, numeracy and report-writing skills.
  • Excellent presentation skills and communication skills for a wide range of audiences
  • Ability to work alone, with a high level of accuracy and attention to detail, and experience of using information/data to aid decision-making.
  • Good computer literacy skills (e.g. with Excel, Word, Powerpoint and the Internet).
  • Valid driving licence and own car, insured for business use.


  • Knowledge of the Bristol Avon Catchment


Interested parties should submit a CV and a one page covering letter explaining why they might be suitable for the position. These should be sent to: ian@bristolavonriverstrust.org

All applicants will receive responses. Interviews for shortlisted applicants will take place in Bristol, week beginning Monday 7th November.

Return of the Lamprey


The last month has seen two of our Riverfly Partnership monitors coming to us with a strange finding – lamprey larvae (or ‘ammocoetes’ as they are also known). One of the most primitive vertebrates alive today, lampreys are fascinating parasitic fish that are jawless and attach themselves to other fish to feed on blood and scales (although at the larvae stage they are filter feeding and not parasitic). They are similar in shape to eels and have a series of uncovered round gill openings (known as gill pores) on the sides of the head.

Lamprey ammocoete found on the River Wylye during a Riverly training session for the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust.

Lamprey ammocoete found on the River Wylye during a Riverly training session for the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust.


Recent reports have stated that lampreys are returning to rivers where they had not been previously seen for 200 years. A combination of poor water quality, a reduction in available habitat and man-made barriers to migration are all thought to have been responsible for this decline.

You can read more on the decline of the lamprey here: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/sep/04/older-than-the-dinosaurs-lamprey-fish-return-to-uk-rivers-after-200-years

All of our findings have been sent to the UK Lamprey Watch, a project which has been set up to help to conserve and protect the UK’s lamprey species.

If you find a lamprey in your river, please help by recording your find at the following link!: https://envscot-csportal.org.uk/lampreywatch/

Cleveland Lido fish rescue

Fishrescue 0

Last week BART worked with Westcountry Rivers Trust to conduct a fish rescue on Cleveland Lido in Bath. The lido, which is the oldest of its kind in the UK, is being restored following its closure in 1984. More information on the lido can be found here: https://www.hlf.org.uk/about-us/media-centre/press-releases/uk%E2%80%99s-oldest-public-open-air-pools-reopen-thanks-heritage

Around 600 fish were removed by electrofishing and taken to a new donor pond including perch, ruffe and chub of various sizes.


Fish rescue 3Fish rescue 2

Fish rescue 4Fish rescue 1

Freshwater shrimp research project – can you help?

Whilst BART are out and about river dipping we often see freshwater shrimp (Gammarus) with these bright orange spots in their bodies – a sign of a spiny headed worm parasite. The Environment Agency are now asking for anyone who finds these shrimp with parasitic spots, either whilst Riverfly monitoring or playing about in streams, to send them in to the details below.  This is an exciting project and we are looking forward to seeing the results! Thank you in advance for your help.


A project is underway to establish the distribution of a fish parasite that uses the freshwater shrimp Gammarus pulex as an intermediate host. The parasite we are interested in is a spiny-headed worm called Pomphorynchus. It causes the shrimp Gammarus pulex to develop either single or multiple orange spots in the body, like those in the picture above. These spots increase the chances of the shrimp being eaten by a fish, completing the life cycle of the parasite.

If you find any shrimps like these during your river surveys, please let us know. If possible, put a small number of shrimps into a small container with some wet tissue and send them to us at the address below. Please include the name of the river and either a grid reference or the name of the nearest town. Should you require any containers sending to you, please let us know.

We are hoping to obtain samples of shrimps from as many rivers as we can throughout England and Wales and even a single shrimp can help provide some very useful information. Many thanks!


Please send samples to: Hannah Bradley

Environment Agency, National Fisheries Laboratory

Bromholme Lane



PE28 4NE


If you have any queries or would like more information about this project, please contact: hannah.bradley@environment-agency.gov.uk.