Presentation at the Launch of the Avon DTC Project
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Presentation at the Launch of the Avon DTC Project 18 th January 2011 Tom Davis - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Presentation at the Launch of the Avon DTC Project 18 th January 2011 Tom Davis. Why are we here? Who are we? What do we do? Why are we interested in the Avon DTC project?. Why we are here. The rivers of region are: unique high conservation value important recreational value

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Presentation Transcript

Why are we here?

Who are we?

What do we do?

Why are we interested in the Avon DTC project?

Why we are here
Why we are here

The rivers of region are:

  • unique

  • high conservation value

  • important recreational value

    ..but they face important threats

Why we are here1

Current threats

Low flows

Diffuse pollution

Rising water temperatures

Fragmentation of habitat

Loss of fly life

Demise of salmon runs

Loss of Ranunculus

Loss of crayfish

Nutrient inputs – eutrophication


Endocrine disrupting substances

Future threats

Climate change

Increasing temperature

2-3°C up in winter (2080)

4°C up in summer (2080)

Changes in rainfall patterns

40% less in summer (2050)

10-30% more in winter (2050)

Changes in flow regime

Low flow periods extend into November

Population growth

Up 30% by 2030

Greater housing independence

Consequent pressure on development and resources

Why we are here

Why we are here2
Why we are here

In recognition

  • Of similarities between rivers of the region

  • That many of the issues faced are common across the region and might be better handled by a larger group with influence

    Group established to form a rivers trust

Who we are
Who we are

Wessex Chalk Stream and Rivers Trust

‘a charity dedicated to the guardianship, protection, enhancement and maintenance of healthy functioning ecosystems within the river catchments and corridors of the Wessex region’

Trust evolution
Trust evolution

  • Incorporated February 2009

  • Registered Charity June 2009

  • Formally launched 30th June 2010

    A new charity but a long history of conserving rivers, going back more than 100 years

Who we are1
Who we are

Our spectrum of rivers interest includes

  • Conservation and wildlife interests

  • Fishery interests

  • Farmers

  • Landowners

    Provides the opportunity to

  • Share understanding

  • Develop common interest

  • Address potential areas of conflict

Who we are2
Who we are

13 Trustees and 3 other officers including:

  • Directors of 2 wildlife trusts

  • Three important riparian land owners

  • An estate manager and agricultural expert

  • A land agent

  • Several company directors

  • An educationalist

  • Two environmental scientists

  • A freshwater ecologist

  • A river manager

  • A banker

    Skills, experience, contacts

Who we are part of a national movement

Action for the River Kennet

Ballindary Fish Hatchery

Calder & Colne Rivers Trust

Carmarthenshire Rivers Trust

Clwyd & Elwy Rivers Trust

East Yorkshire Chalk Rivers Trust

Eden Rivers Trust

Lune Rivers Trust

Pembrokeshire Rivers Trust

Ribble Catchment Conservation Trust

River Adur Conservation Society

Severn Rivers Trust

Slaney Rivers Trust

South Cumbria Rivers Trust

South East Wales Rivers Trust

Sussex Ouse Conservation Society

Teifi Rivers Trust

Thames 21

Thames Explorer Trust

Thames Rivers Restoration Trust

Clwyd and Conwy Rivers Trust

Welsh River Dee Trust

Wandle Trust

Wear Rivers Trust

Trent Rivers Trust

Tweed Foundation

Westcountry Rivers Trust

Wye & Usk Foundation

Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust

Who we are……..part of a national movement

What we do advocacy
what we do: Advocacy

  • Influence development of government policy and regulation

  • Informing and influencing decisions on development which may impact the rivers

    industrial & housing development, transport, minerals, agriculture and land use, water abstraction, hydro-power etc

    Emphasis on constructive engagement

What we do inspire and inform
what we do: Inspire and inform

Engage local communities to:

  • Inform and stimulate interest in the natural habitat and wildlife of the river corridors

  • Inspire a sense of value and a culture of nurturing

  • Promote responsibility for future protection

    Develop and expand existing work across the region


  • Schools

  • Broader community through project work

What we do scientific research
what we do: Scientific Research

  • Belief in sound science

  • Promote support and bring together research – vulnerabilities, threats, approaches to mitigation

  • Focus on practical application

  • Participate in funding, scoping and direction of work by universities and research organisations

  • Strategic partnerships with government agencies other charities and foundations

What we do our research priorities
what we do:our research priorities

The factors influencing Ranunculus success

  • Provides vital structure and habitat

  • Plays a critical role in maintaining flow velocity and (indirectly) clean water

  • Its periodic failure and the need to know why

  • Much work done but little translated into practical recommendation

    Sources and pathways of nutrients

  • P and N

  • Role in eutophication

  • Mass balance

What we do delivery of action
what we do: Delivery of action


  • Linking reaches of good habitat – wildlife corridors

  • Enhance salmonid spawning and nursery habitat

  • Improve management of agricultural run-off and aquaculture effluents

  • Linkage with educational programme

What we do delivery of action1
what we do: Delivery of action

We want to help with delivery of:

  • Strategic restoration of SSSIs

  • Catchment Sensitive Farming

  • Living Landscapes initiative

  • Priority actions under Water Framework Directive

Threats to the chalkstreams excess nutrients
Threats to the chalkstreams:EXCESS NUTRIENTS

  • Symptoms of eutrophication seem to be widespread in the chalkstreams of our region

    • Benthic and epiphytic algae

    • Smothering of Ranunculus

    • Planktonic algal blooms

    • Deoxygenation

    • Restricted light penetration

  • Extent underestimated

    • Symptoms occur where P is within target environmental quality criteria (40ug/l, 60ug/l)

  • Meanwhile (2006 EA) for chalkstreams

    • 37% less than 60ug/l (SAC std)

    • 47% more than 60ug/l

      • 4% more than 100ug/l

Threats to the chalkstreams excess nutrients1
Threats to the chalkstreams:EXCESS NUTRIENTS

  • Relative contribution from different sources

    • Arable farming

    • Livestock farming

    • Cress farming

    • Fish farming

    • Septic tanks

    • STWs and leaky sewers

    • On-line lakes

    • In-river sediment

  • Mass balance and dynamics

  • What can be done

Threats to the chalkstreams fine sediment inputs
Threats to the chalkstreams:FINE SEDIMENT INPUTS


  • Blinding spawning gravels (flow, oxygen supply, waste removal)

  • Transfer of pollutants on particles (P, metals, sheep-dip products)

  • Increased BOD where organics present

  • Changes in macrophyte assemblage

  • Reduced clarity and primary productivity

  • Impacts on invertebrates

Photos Bass

Threats to the chalkstreams fine sediment inputs1
Threats to the chalkstreams:FINE SEDIMENT INPUTS

  • Relative contribution from different sources

    • Poaching of banks

    • Run-off from roads and tracks

    • Intensification of stocking

    • Arable cultivation

    • Outdoor pig farming

  • What can be done

Photo Kozak

To sum up
… sum up

  • Dedicated to guardianship, protection, enhancement of healthy functioning rivers in the Wessex region

  • A broad river interest group

  • Focus on channels, corridors and catchments

  • We look forward to working with you