"A Clear Future for our River"

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Have your say in the Challenges and Choices consulation

The Environment Agency have launched a consultation seeking views on the challenges our waters face and the choices we all need to make to improve and protect this vital and precious resource.

By responding to this consultation you will be helping to shape the management of the water environment. The information gathered through this consultation will help the EA update the current river basin management plans, starting with the publication of draft plans in 2020.

The EA will also use your responses to help consider how some of the current approaches to the management of water in England will need to change in response to a changing climate and a growing population.

The Challenges and Choices consultation seeks views on:

  • the challenges that threaten the water environment
  • how we can work together to manage our waters
  • who should pay

The future of our rivers and their catchments will be impacted on by the decisions made so please make your voice heard.

You are invited to submit your views to the EA via the link below. The closing date for receipt of your comments is 24 April 2020.


Job Vacancy: Project Manager

Organisation: Bristol Avon Rivers Trust
Salary: C£25,000 – £29,000 dependant on experience
Location: Bristol Avon catchment
Hours: Full Time, 40 hours per week. Flexibility required (some evening & weekend work)
Position type: Paid
Contract: Permanent
Closing date: Applications by 30th November 2019
Website: www.bristolavonriverstrust.org
Contact name: Simon Hunter
Contact email: simon@bristolavonriverstrust.org


The number of projects led by Bristol Avon Rivers Trust’s (BART) has grown significantly over the last year and as such the trust is looking to recruit another vital member to its team. This role provides the successful post holder with an opportunity to join a small but very ambitious team to deliver a wide array of multi-benefit projects.

As such, the Trust is looking to recruit a competent, dynamic and enthusiastic person with experience in project development and delivery, which would include consultant and contractor supervision. The role would oversee projects that focus on physical environmental improvement projects, catchment surveys, Natural Flood Management, land-use management and in-channel habitat and other similar river restoration works. Prospects will largely depend on your ability to learn quickly and generate income streams to fund projects that meet the Trust’s charitable objectives. You will report directly to the Head of Operations.

The successful candidate will have knowledge of topics such as catchment/landscape-scale conservation, river restoration, ecosystem services and natural capital and how physical improvement projects deliver these topics. The Project Manager will have responsibility for overseeing projects from concept through to delivery and the duties will specifically include:

  • Manage and undertake the development of physical improvement projects.
  • Preparing and submitting applications to obtaining necessary consents and permissions (including Environment Agency Permits, Landowner Agreements and Planning).
  • Build landowner relationships to secure necessary permissions to implement projects.
  • Contribute to, and in some cases lead, the procurement process.
  • Supervision of contractors and junior staff delivering works.
  • Undertake site visits to monitor progress of works, keeping records and reporting onwards.
  • Work with the BART team to ensure project costs are in line with overall project budgets.
  • Complete all necessary reports, and keep suitable records in line with the funding requirements and document retention policy.
  • Highlight any new risks and issues identified during works, and work with the team to manage and resolve them.
  • To help the trust team to engage and consult with existing community groups, schools, clubs, voluntary sector, interest groups etc. and local councils to foster learning and a sense of ownership in the works.
  • To help in identifying and applying for funding for river improvement schemes.
  • To maintain and develop partnerships, with stakeholders, including Environment Agency, Local Authorities, Natural England, water companies and others.
  • Contribute and assist in the production of publicity and marketing materials.
  • Develop a legacy of the formal learning work associated with BART projects.
  • Implement rigorous safeguarding and health & safety procedures and lead by example in prioritising health and safety and wellbeing by taking responsibility for yourself participants’ volunteers and colleagues. You shall comply with Bristol Avon Rivers Trust’s Health & Safety and Safeguarding policies and defined standards at all times.
  • Any other reasonable duties as required by BART.

The post holder will be home based with travel throughout the Bristol Avon catchment.

Candidate Profile


  • Educated to degree level or equivalent, ideally in a relevant subject.
  • Valid driving licence and own car, insured for business use.
  • A confident and clear communicator with experience in delivering projects with a variety of stakeholders and groups.
  • Experience of successful project delivery, including producing reports.
  • Understanding of how different physical improvement projects are meant to perform in relation to ecology and river restoration.
  • Experience in working with external consultants and contractors.
  • Experience in explaining designs as easy to understand tangible outcomes.
  • Self-motivated and able to work effectively from home with a high level of accuracy and attention to detail.
  • Ability to work flexibly, including some evenings and weekends.
  • Confidence to engage and build relationships across organisations with differing objectives and priorities.
  • Ability to prioritise and plan activities to meet strict deadlines.
  • Proven experience in developing successful funding applications.
  • Excellent literacy, numeracy and report-writing skills.
  • Exceptional presentation and communication skills.
  • Good computer literacy skills (e.g. with Excel, Word, PowerPoint).
  • Reliability, good attendance and work performance.
  • Ability to set performance objectives and ensure these are achieve.
  • Excellent organisational / admin skills and attention to detail –
    • Maintaining a project filing system.
    • Keeping records of work undertaken.
    • Keeping records of expenses incurred.
    • Managing project budgets and reporting project updates to Head of Operations on a regular basis.
    • Keeping up to date timesheets and capacity plans.


  • Knowledge of the Bristol Avon Catchment;

General Notes

  • Extensive travel around the Bristol Avon Catchment may be necessary therefore a current driving licence and access to a vehicle is essential.
  • This position will from time to time require work during some evenings, weekends and public holidays to meet the needs of the post. A time-off in lieu system is operated by the Trust.
  • We expect you to carry out your job responsibilities in an environmentally aware manner, ensuring as little damage to the environment as possible. Our aim is to ensure all resources are utilised effectively and efficiently. You will be expected to apply ‘sound value for money’ principles and follow green procurement guidelines in undertaking purchasing or supply of goods and services.

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: simon@bristolavonriverstrust.org

Interviews for this post will take place during December 2019 (date TBC) in Bristol.

Please note, due to limited resources you will only be contacted should you be successful in gaining an interview. We would like to thank you for your interest in this position.

Caring for the Cam: Project Update

BART have been working hard to address water quality issues and improve habitat for wildlife on the Cam Brook, Midford. The Caring for the Cam project is being funded by players of People’s Postcode Lottery enabling BART to deliver exciting river restoration works alongside monitoring, training and community events to make the Cam better for the wildlife that depend on it and the people who enjoy it.

The project is addressing the issues identified on the Cam Brook which includes a stretch that has become canalised by weirs downstream, resulting in sluggish flows and limited habitat diversity. Bank poaching by livestock entering the water to drink has led to the collapse of parts of the bank and the entry of sediment into the river which, when combined with the input of nutrients from urine and faeces, has resulted in poor water quality, impacting fish habitat. Bankside habitat has suffered from the impact of livestock poaching and therefore in places there is a lack of riparian vegetation necessary to support wildlife including birds and the endangered water vole.

Heavy poaching has led to bank collapse along the brook – fine sediment and nutrients are washed into the watercourse, impacting on water quality and habitat
Our Cam-Do Attitude

We are proud to announce that we have now completed the next phase of our project on the Cam Brook to reduce the impacts of poaching by livestock along the banks of the river. Working with contractors and building a working relationship with the respective landowner, BART have installed approximately 700 metres of permanent solar powered electric fencing, which will prevent livestock from entering the water and allow the riparian buffer strip to establish.  Gates have been installed to allow access to the brook for anglers and bankside management. Instead of livestock drinking from the brook, the animals now have access to a new drinking trough situated away from the watercourse. These measures will improve the conditions of the brook by preventing livestock from entering the watercourse, destabilising bank faces and defecating in the brook. The fencing will allow buffer strips to establish, reducing run-off and the input of fine sediment caused by pastoral farming. A very simple solution with widespread benefits!

Still To Come

BART have led a series of riverfly monitor training events to enable local people to care for the river. With a number of new monitors in the area there are now more opportunities for issues to be spotted at an early stage and action to be taken. The next phase of the project will be to plant up the riparian buffer strip with native vegetation which will protect the integrity of the banks, filter harmful pollutants and provide cover for wildlife. If you are local to the project area and wish to get involved in the community tree planting, please contact george@bristolavonriverstrust.org. BART will be hosting community engagement and education events to showcase our work and encourage community ownership of the brook to conserve and improve its condition into the future.

Building On Success

The latest work builds on downstream river restoration works funded by the Environment Agency’s WEIF fund to improve the flow of the brook where it has become canalised and protect the banks from livestock poaching. With the help of a very willing landowner (and his tractor) we removed a timber and rock weir and re-profiled three boulder weirs to reduce the impounding effect of the structures, allowing the river to flow more naturally to benefit wild fish. We installed flow deflectors and brushwood mattresses at various locations in the channel to improve the sinuosity along the artificially straight section of the Cam Brook and provide refuge for fish and invertebrates. These works have already re-created riffle-pool habitat; reducing the amount of silt on the river bed, cleaning gravels and creating potential spawning habitat for wild fish. Our operations team delivered a programme of coppicing of bankside vegetation where the brook was over shaded, allowing light to penetrate the stream with a dappling effect to encourage macrophyte growth which we would expect to see throughout the reach, improving the available freshwater habitat. 460 metres of fencing has closed off the river from livestock and one formalised drinking bay in the brook has significantly reduced the quantity of sediment and nutrient input throughout this stretch.

BART’s latest riverfly monitoring training found all 8 key species of riverfly in the re-instated riffle-pool habitat which is fantastic news for the health of the brook! We will be showcasing our results soon so keep your eyes peeled.

Postcode Local Trust is a grant-giving charity funded entirely by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. Our project received funding from the Trust to complete the river restoration works and engage with the community.


We have reached 60 Riverfly monitors!

We have reached 60 Riverfly Partnership monitors! These volunteers each sample their site once a month, monitoring invertebrates as indicators of water quality. They help us to gain a long term dataset on the health of rivers, as well as identifying pollution incidents to enable response by the Environment Agency.

Click here to find out more about our Riverfly monitoring.

A massive thank you to all our dedicated volunteers! If you are interested in being trained, please get in touch with jess@bristolavonriverstrust.org

We’ve raised one million pounds!

BART are really proud to announce that we have reached the £1 million mark for lifetime funds raised for river restoration and education work! (Plus a huge amount more bought in from partners in joint projects).

From humble beginnings six years ago with a few anglers, saddened at the decline of the Bristol Avon and it’s tributaries, we’ve developed a small but strong team delivering a huge range of projects around the catchment.

We’ve only started scratching at the surface and we have a huge amount left to do, but here’s to delivering the next millions worth of improvements!