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BRISTOL AVON RIVERS TRUST
"A Clear Future for our River"

Latest News

Chippenham Yellow Fish event

On Saturday the 17th of November in Chippenham we will be co-hosting a yellow fish pollution awareness event with Wessex water! Its free to get involved so if your in the area come down and join us for 9:30 at the town hall.

Little Avon Fisheries Habitat Enhancement

BART has recently completed the delivery of fisheries habitat improvements throughout a stretch of the Little Avon. BART’s operations team teamed up with volunteers from Charfield Angling Association to install habitat features throughout the fishing beat. Prior to the works, this section of river was over wide, straight and lacked cross-sectional habitat and flow diversity.

BART worked with volunteers to install a series of brushwood flow deflectors and mattresses to reinstate sinuosity and promote flow diversity throughout this section of the Little Avon. The working party assembled the structures in strategic locations, using brushwood from the bank-side, targeting over shaded sections of the beat to help thin out the canopy. The structures will begin to influence river processes, forming habitat niches and refuge to support various life-cycles of fish and invertebrates.

The work will begin to bed in over the next few months and whilst the added sinuosity is already evident, the river will continue to redistribute bed substrate, enhancing riffle-pool sequences throughout this stretch.

Thank you to the Environment Agency for funding the project via the Fisheries Improvement Fund, and thank you to Charfield Angling Association and the respective land owners for their support throughout this project. It was a pleasure to work with all of those involved and we look forward to seeing the benefits over the coming years.

Follow our project progress via our Twitter page https://twitter.com/BristolAvonRT and Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/bristolavonrivers/

For more information with regard to this project, please get in touch with simon@bristolavonriverstrust.org.

Bristol Avon WaterBlitz 2018 – the results

Our Bristol Avon WaterBlitz is run annually to assess the health of the rivers and the streams within the catchment. As part of the WaterBlitz, participants test the water quality by taking samples to find out the levels of nitrate and phosphate in their chosen river or stream.

This year’s Bristol Avon WaterBlitz was run between the 23rd-29th of June 2018. The event engaged with over 260 participants to take 120 samples within the Bristol Avon catchment.

The WaterBlitz uses these results to assess the levels of excess nutrients in the rivers/streams in the catchment. Nitrate and phosphate occur naturally in rivers and are nutrients for plants and essential for wildlife. Excessive amounts of these nutrients may cause toxic algal blooms which harms aquatic insects and fish by decreasing oxygen levels and increases the cost of treating drinking water.

This year’s results shows that there is an increase in phosphate from last year, with 0.1mg/l, with an average of 0.16mg/l which is slightly above the agreed levels for a healthy river. However, nitrate levels have decreased with an average of 3.1mg/l compared to last year’s 4.2mg/l. Nitrate has no official standard for levels in rivers/streams.

To see more results please see the Interactive Results Map here.

Thanks to the Bristol Avon Catchment Partnership for funding this project this year.

We are already on the lookout for funding to run this important research project again next year so if you are a business or individual who could help, do get in touch!

Project Update: Opening up Norton Brook (tributary of the Wellow Brook) to fish

The BART team have been busy this week removing several large blockages from the course of the Norton Brook. The blockages were deemed barriers to fish at most flow conditions and impound the waterbody, limiting habitat diversity throughout this stretch of the brook (approx. 300m).

Removing the blockages has opened up a large stretch from the confluence of the Wellow Brook to fish and aquatic life. The brook will now be given time to geomorphologically adjust before BART assess the stretch for further habitat improvements.

Before blockage removal – impounded flow conditions, very little light penetrating the stream, barrier to fish.

 

After blockage removal – riffle creation (potential fish spawning habitat), sinuosity re-instated, light penetrating the stream, fly life has already started to return.

 

Before blockage removal – reduced flow conditions due to impounding effect of sleepers and other debris that has collated; barrier to fish during most flow conditions.

 

After blockage removal – riffle creation (potential fish spawning habitat), sinuosity re-instated, light penetrating the stream, fly life has already started to return.

This work is part of the first delivery phase of BART’s Restoring the Wellow, Midford and Cam Brook project funded by the Environment Agency’s Water & Environment Improvement Fund.

Follow BART’s progress via our Twitter page https://twitter.com/BristolAvonRT and Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/bristolavonrivers/

For more information with regard to this project, please get in touch with simon@bristolavonriverstrust.org.

 

BART takes to the water at the Bristol Harbour Festival

Did you spot the BART logo in the Bristol Post, Telegraph or Sunday Times this weekend?

BART Project Manager Harriet took to the water in a cardboard boat this weekend for the ‘My Future My Choice‘ cardboard boat race at the Bristol Harbour Festival.

Her boat, HMS Fatberg, was created to raise awareness of the issues with fats and wastes being poured down our drains. You can read more about this issue here.

No win (more of a big sink!) but great to see the BART logo in the news!