"A Clear Future for our River"

Education

Eels return to a classroom near you in 2018!

BART are happy to announce that in spring 2018 we will be running our incredibly popular Eel in the Classroom project, thanks to funding from the Greggs Foundation!

The Greggs Foundation is the charitable arm of Greggs, with funding from the 2015 charge for single-use plastic carrier bags. Before the charge over 7.6 billion single-use plastic bags were given to customers by major supermarkets in England alone! The Greggs Foundation have donated proceeds from the charge to support environmental education projects for local communities in and around rivers, across Wales, Scotland and England.

Children and their eels during our 2017 project

We will be working with schools across the Bristol Avon catchment, bringing the endangered European Eel to classrooms where children will spend a term looking after and learning about these fascinating creatures and the challenges they face. At the end of the school term the children say goodbye to the eels as they release them back into the river!

European eels are fascinating animals

 

Our 2017 Eel in the Classroom project was incredibly popular with 6 schools involved across Bristol, Wiltshire and Somerset. In 2018 we are going to have 13 schools taking part, allowing more children to get up close and personal with these amazing animals!

 

Releasing the eels at the end of our 2017 project

A huge thank you to the Greggs Foundation who have made the 2018 Eel in the Classroom Project possible! If your school is interested in taking part then please get in touch with harriet@bristolavonriverstrust.org.

Grass cuttings and water pollution

While we’ve been out on the river recently we’ve noticed many occurrences of people throwing their grass cuttings over their garden and into the river. Please help us to spread the message that this pollutes our rivers by sharing this poster… thank you!

Citizen science monitoring resources

Thank you so much to everyone who has taken part in our Bristol Avon Catchment Partnership funded Freshwater Watch citizen science project over the last year, from those of you who sampled during the one week Waterblitz, to those farmers, community groups, schools and Riverfly monitors who sampled throughout the year. We have received an amazing amount of data on phosphates and nitrates (over 450 samples!) and we couldn’t have collected all of this without you. We will be analysing the data as soon as we receive it all, so watch this space to find out the results!

Thanks to all of our volunteers for their water quality monitoring efforts

Unfortunately we have now run out of test kits so are unable to provide anymore until we can find another funder to continue the project. We are still getting a number of requests from landowners, fishing clubs and individuals to monitor which is fantastic and if you are interested in doing your own monitoring, we recommend taking a look at the Catchment Based Approach (CaBA) Citizen Science and Volunteering Monitoring Resources document here. It details some of the most recommended kits looking at a variety of water quality variables including oxygen concentration, phosphates and nitrates and many others.

An example of some of the monitoring kits recommended by CaBA and reviewed by several Rivers Trusts around the country.

If you are a community group or club, BART may be able to help you raise funds in order to purchase monitoring equipment. Do get in touch with our Project Manager if this is an opportunity you would like us to explore – harriet@bristolavonriverstrust.org

 

 

Biss Family Fun day, Trowbridge

Do you live in the Trowbridge, Wiltshire area? Fancy exploring your local river? Join BART & Friends of Biss Meadows Country Park on the 13th August to explore the minibeasts that live within the river as well as to take part in lots of other river related activities. Plus there will be a BBQ – how could you resist!

Bristol pupils spray the way to change

As part of our Greggs Foundation funded project, over 60 pupils from Bristol have been out running their own Yellowfish Project to educate members of their community on the link between storm drains and their river, the Bristol Frome.

The Yellowfish initiative involves spraying yellow fish stencils onto the side of storm drains using non-toxic, washable paint and putting up posters and handing out leaflets to local businesses and houses in order to spread the often unknown message that storm drains at the side of the road run directly into the nearest river or stream. This means that whatever is poured down them, whether it is oil, litter or car shampoo, will pollute our waterways and kill fish and other wildlife!

Some of the primary school pupils admiring their handiwork!

Remember, ‘Only rain down the drain!’

A massive thank you to all of the pupils who helped us to spread the message, we couldn’t have done it without you!

 

​#GreenerwithGreggs

N.B. The fish got better throughout the day but nothing can beat those smiles above! 🙂