Spurred by a shared love of rivers, the Westcountry Rivers Trust is very much a grassroots organisation, brought into existence from the bottom up. In the early 90s, a group of individuals, passionate – but concerned – about the waterways around them, began to stitch together their ambitions for restoring Westcountry rivers, laying the foundations for the Trust we know today.
To the cause, a number of inspiring, innovative and forward-thinking founders were drawn. Among them, Stuart Gardiner and Poet Laureate Ted Hughes were instrumental to WRT’s creation, both alarmed by the decline of fish in their local rivers and inspired by examples of communities brought together to make a difference to the environment. With continued support from Stuart Gardiner, Ted Hughes became one of the Trust’s first trustees, with Lord Clinton, Teddy Goldsmith, Nick Grant, Alan Hawken, Michael Heathcoat-Amory, Michael Martin, Bill Tucker and Ann Voss-Bark at his side.