Please note, this is where you can find out our ongoing updates relating to COVID-19. Please check back regularly.
Scroll down for date-related information.
If you have queries about working pratices relating to Electrofishing, please read our full policy below:
Drinking water supply - information
If you have been at all concerned about the safety of your tap water at home due to the COVID-19 virus, we hope the information below will reassure you.
Ofwat (the economic regulator of England and Wales’ water sector) has stated on its website that “Tap water remains perfectly safe to drink and there is no risk of contracting the virus through it”.
This is reiterated by Water UK. Read more at: water.org.uk/covid-19-information-for-customers/
Locally, South West Water has confirmed drinking water is safe. It has noted that the World Health Organisation has said there is no risk to tap water which is disinfected with chlorine to kill harmful bacteria as part of the treatment process. Visit https://www.southwestwater.co.uk/coronavirus/
You can find more information about how drinking water is treated via the Drinking Water Inspectorate.
Don’t forget, you must only flush the 3 Ps – pee, poo and toilet paper – down the loo. Take a look at South West Water’s Love Your Loo for more info.
15 May 2020
As part of our regular reviews, and following the recent government updates, our Covid-19 Policy remains valid. We will continue to assess fieldwork on an individual basis and will only deliver on-site requirements where safe and able to do so – we are not currently looking to do work where we can’t keep more than two metres distance.
Events and organised, outside CSI training are still on hold – if you are a Westcountry CSI River Keeper, you can watch a Cartographer How To video via become-a-citizen-scientist.
17 April 2020
Our Management Team is regularly reviewing work practices to ensure all staff follow strict working guidelines, for their safety and that of others, during the lockdown.
Please be aware, some staff may need to carry out field work if animal or plant welfare is jeopardised; to maintain equipment installed in rivers; or to conduct survey work under a written agreement by the landlord/farmer and as outlined by the Government’s CIEEM letter for ecologists and environmental professionals.
Every external work situation is thoroughly considered and, where staff need to conduct fieldwork, they will carry a WRT exceptional travel letter.
1 April 2020
We appreciate all the hard work and enthusiasm of our CSI River Keepers and while we would love to be out and about monitoring our rivers, we encourage you to follow government advice and only leave the house for essential travel and exercise such as a walk or run.
If you do live close to a river or stream and take your daily exercise nearby, do please keep an eye on it and, if you feel able to do so safely, provide a simple CSI River Keepers photo and note via Cartographer for the time being.
We wish all the CSI community well at this difficult time and hope that we can be back looking out for our rivers soon.
In the mean time we have resources at Get Involved at Home to provide some activities while at home, including a CSI quiz.
26 March 2020
Our colleagues at Westcountry Angling Passport have made the decision to temporarily close all their beats.
In addition, all South West Lakes Trust and Duchy of Cornwall beats are closed.
This situation will be reviewed in time, in accordance with government guidelines.
24 March 2020
Mindful of the current Government lockdown, Westcountry Rivers Trust view fishing as a non-essential pastime rather than a daily exercise and would advise refraining from using the angling beats until further updates.
While the country deals with delaying the spread of Coronavirus, please follow the most up-to-date government guidance about non-essential travel.
23 March 2020
In light of Coronavirus we are keeping WRT activities under constant review and in line with government guidance.
We regret to inform you but at this time we have decided to postpone all WRT organised meetings and other events, unless they can be run by online meeting platforms, until the end of April, at which time we will review our policy.
In line with the government advice we believe that cancelling all non-essential group events is the most sensible option at this time.
Where you have a visit already arranged with one of our advisers on your farm, the adviser will contact you prior to your meeting to discuss how we can make other arrangements to complete the visit without meeting you face-to-face, and this can be followed up with a telephone call and/or an email.
For essential future visits we will review these on a one to one basis taking into consideration government guidance.
You will be asked to confirm that you or other people on the farm have not had exposure to Coronavirus in the past 14 days. We will follow the current government guidance and ensure that we keep social contact to a minimum on our visit.
Where we are are carrying our essential surveying or working on your river, the officer will contact you prior to our survey work make sure you are still happy to access your land but we will not be expecting to have any face-to-face contact but rather contact you before and after surveying.
This follows the current government guidance and ensure that we keep social contact to a minimum.
17 March 2020
Being mindful of the current COVID-19 virus, and considering current government and medical advice, here at Westcountry Rivers Trust, we are making some changes to our work patterns.
This is to help minimise potential infection of our staff and those we work with.
With that in mind, several staff will be working from home in the coming weeks, while field staff will review the situation daily. Our farm advisors will work with their clients to determine best options for visits.
Our public participation events are on hold at present, but we will reevaluate regularly.
To continue to deliver our projects, we are focusing on digital alternatives such as online meetings. We will be actively using our social media channels and website to share updates. You can also sign-up to our newsletter here or on our home page to receive on-going information.
There will be a small team at the office in the immediate future, but this may change. In that instance, our office number will be diverted so you can still contact us.
You can also email [email protected]
Read our COVID-19 Policy below:
With best wishes
Laurence Couldrick, CEO
Links to external papers / relevant research will be shared here.