We are pleased to announce that Westcountry Rivers Trust has been awarded €15,000 from the Open Rivers Programme to deliver a new project within the River Camel in Cornwall.

The project will help to restore natural river function, including improving river flow and fish passage. Works will include the removal of redundant in-river barriers that cover its width.

The first phase of the project will focus on an important site at Worthyvale Manor which sits within an Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Special Area of Conservation (SAC).

The funding has enabled our fisheries team to carry out a preliminary electrofishing survey of the river. This doesn’t harm the fish and supports the team in gaining a better understanding of the numbers and species that live there. Monitoring prior to and post removal of the barriers will show the effectiveness of the works.

The second phase will focus further downstream at the Dunmere site, which will commission outline designs and hydrological modelling to explore options to best improve the ecological integrity and hydrological balance of the river ecosystem. Much like its upstream counterpart, it is hoped that any future works will increase fish passage to the upstream spawning grounds.

Our River and Fisheries Officer Craig Renton, who is leading on the project, said: “We are grateful for the opportunity to have one of our projects funded by the Open Rivers Programme.

“This will help us to deliver vital works on this highly valued river which will support many protected and endangered species in the area.”

It is hoped that once the removal works have been completed, there will be better access upstream. This means that species such as Salmon and Trout that are reliant on unobstructed upstream passage in order to reach their spawning grounds, will have a higher success rate and species recovery.

Visit wrt.org.uk/project/open-rivers for updates.


The European Open Rivers Programme is a Dutch grant giving foundation funded by Arcadia. Arcadia is a charitable foundation that works to protect nature, preserve cultural heritage and promote open access to knowledge. Since 2002, Arcadia has awarded more than $1 billion to organizations around the world.

More info can be found at: Open Rivers Programme – Home and at openrivers.eu/projects/202304413-worthyvale-weir-england/