In 2022 myriad pressures faced our rivers, but our charity continued to restore and protect them. This has been made possible through local, catchment, and region-wide collaboration with volunteers, grassroots groups, government bodies, farming and angling communities, water companies,
Our citizen science scheme expanded, with volunteers taking positive action to support research, and solutions to the challenges our freshwater environments face.
They collected more than 4,700 water samples to build evidence of the state of the Westcountry’s rivers.
Discover even more – click the button below for a full screen experience or use the arrows/headings/scroll option on the right.
What a positive year 2021 has been for our charity. We have adapted and evolved working practices to continue doing our best for the region’s rivers and freshwater environments, held our first public fundraiser which achieved more than £12,500 in donations, and seen more and more people connect with us and their rivers as citizen science volunteers. Thank you to all who support our work.
Find our more in our 2021 annual review. Simply click the button below for a full screen experience or use the arrows / headings / scroll option on the right.
2020 was a challenging year for us all. Despite the difficulties faced due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we adapted our working practices to continue to have a positive impact for our Westcountry rivers.
You can learn about some of the things we achieved in our snapshot 2020 annual review such as more than 1000 citizen science surveys completed. Simply click the button below for a full screen experience or use the arrows / headings / scroll option on the right.
Our work to restore and protect the Westcountry’s rivers and their habitats continued apace during our 25th anniversary year. In 2019, more than 1,054 children engaged in water-related projects; we worked with 278 farms, offering support and advice; improved 90km of river habitat to improve biodiversity and water quality; and helped schools and residential groups build urban rain gardens. But that is just a very small idea of what we achieved in 2019 for our rivers and those who depend on them. See the bigger picture in our 2019 annual review.
In 2018, more than 800 school children took part in out education workshops; 315 volunteers supported our work; we collaborated with more than 380 farms; and assisted 12 communities at risk of flooding. But that’s just a snippet of what we did. We also looked forward to celebrating our 25th anniversary in 2019, and took a look back at everything our team has achieved in that time. Find out more inside this issue about how we are continuing to achieve positive river-related outcomes to benefit all.
Our delivery teams carried out a huge amount of restoration and conservation work, including over 22 km of river bank management, restoring stretches of water course to maximise the number of invertebrates produced, which in turn impacts on the carrying capacity for fish and other apex predators. Our farm advisors worked with more than 180 farmers covering 1300 ha of the land and our evidence and engagement team involved over 1623 people in protecting their river and understanding the value of this important habitat.
2016 was a challenging year for the Trust, mirroring the wider trials faced by Britain and the world in general. The move towards more nationalistic narratives, often seemingly at the expense of holistic integrated thinking, has brought division, uncertainty and unrest. Coupled with the passing of Dr Dylan Bright – a past WRT Director and dear friend – this meant 2016 didn’t relent to the very end. And although we cannot go backwards, we can move forwards and for every challenge there is an opportunity. Already we have started to see more nuanced conversations within the environmental sector about what we need from our land and greater cooperation and understanding from the agricultural sector that any support will be hard fought against other public services.
2015 turned out to be another year of change but this time slightly more predictable. We came to the end of some of our bigger projects, such as the Catchment Restoration Funds projects, and transitioned from the previous Upstream Thinking Phase 1 project into a bigger, more expansive Phase 2 project. Fortunately, there has been a lot of consistent activity that the Trust does on an annual basis to offset the change. This has included delivering a wider reaching partnership programme across all the catchments in the West Country and assessing the fishing stocks in many of our key rivers. Indeed 2015 saw us breaking our record with electro‐fishing at well over 300 sites, so a massive thanks to all the supporters and assistants who have helped make this happen.
A busy year for us here at the Trust, 2014 also marked our 20th anniversary. This issue of Confluence focusses on our many achievements during 2014 as well as a nostalgic look back at the actions we have delivered since the Trust was originally formed in 1994. We learn more about Dr Laurence Couldrick’s WRT journey from starting as our education officer in 2003 after completing his PhD and how the developing Catchment
Partnerships, consisting of the people who work and live on our rivers, represent a valuable way for to engage people and garner support for our work. Whether it is playing, planning, protecting, restoring, farming, monitoring, regulating or advising, we must all pull together
to bring our rivers to life, for now and for the future.