Environment in association with the Mirror

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000

Submitted by: True Potential LLP

Description

The Wild Trout Trust works with fishing clubs and other community conservation groups to deliver practical projects that improve habitat in rivers for trout and for all wildlife. We also train and support volunteers to care for their river in the long term.Our partner in this project is the Mersey Basin Rivers Trust, a community group who are driving the continuing clean up and regeneration of all rivers that flow in the Mersey Basin, from source to sea.

Our project is to reconnect two sections of the River Goyt near Stockport that are currently separated by a large weir at the Roman Lakes Goytcliffe Viaduct. The weir is a complete barrier to fish migration (trout, sea trout, salmon and eels) in low flow conditions, and difficult for fish to negotiate in higher flows. This leaves fish highly vulnerable as they become easy prey for fish eating birds (and poachers!) whilst they wait in the pool below the weir. On top of that, there are “hidden” genetic impacts caused by the barrier splitting larger breeding populations into smaller, isolated groups of reproductive individuals.

We will deliver a highly cost effective solution to help fish pass this large weir by reinstating an existing (but unused) by-pass channel and installing some sluice gates to manage the water flow. The Aviva Community Grant will enable us to complete the detailed design and to do the job, using both professionals and volunteers to carry out the work. The design and delivery phases are estimated to cost £22,000 and will take three months.

This project is a collaboration between the Wild Trout Trust and the Mersey Basin Rivers Trust and has the support of the landowner, the Environment Agency and Network Rail (who own the nearby viaduct). Local volunteers will be involved both in the physical delivery and by communicating to other local residents what we are doing and why; this is a highly visible project in a semi-urban area. The communication aspect of the project is very important, as we want to raise awareness of the tremendous wildlife resource that exists on the communities’ doorstep so that they value and protect it. Many older residents will remember when the river was heavily polluted by industry and will be surprised that there are trout and salmon in the river! Although pollution incidents still happen, the water quality has improved sufficiently to support wild trout – they are an iconic indicator of a healthy (or at least recovering) river. We want to ensure that they thrive in the Goyt in the long term.

The project partners have a vision of rivers that work as naturally as they can in a man-made environment and that support a fully functioning ecosystem (invertebrates and plants to fish, birds and mammals) and especially trout, as they are fantastic indicators of a healthy river. We want rivers that are resilient to drought, flood and man-made problems such as pollution, and for them to be a source of delight and enjoyment for the communities they touch. A grant from the Aviva Community Fund will enable us to take a big step towards achieve this vision for the River Goyt.

Wild Trout Trust

Location: Marple

We are proud to be known for our in-depth expertise in river habitat and for having a practical, delivery focused approach, working in partnership with volunteers to deliver tangible and obvious improvements to river habitat for the benefit of trout and all wildlife; that’s what this project is all
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