21 Nov 2011

Inspiring: work of the Severn Rivers Trust

Last week the Stroud Valleys Water Forum, which I initiated as a way to bring the local flood and brook action groups together, organised the Severn Rivers Trust to join our bi-monthly meeting. Although we are in the Severn catchment we had never met up with them before - partly they are based around the main areas of work so the Frome hasn't had such a look in and partly our lack of knowledge about them - they have also grown very rapidly in the last couple of years.

Anyhow Tony Bostcock, a Director of the Trust, joined us and gave a totally inspiring talk about their activities. We also look set to tap into their knowledge and access to funds to improve habitat locally. The Severn River Trust is one of some 70 river trusts and looks to turnover £500,000 this year trying to address issues like the massive soil erosion and restore many species like eels - we learnt that the 354km river has a 11,000 plus sq km catchment and have many projects the length of it - for example they are looking at attenuation at the head of the river in Wales where the land is being returned to being a sponge.

So what next?

We agreed that Tony would join us for to walk a stretch of one of our waterways to see how interesting they are, and undertake a survey on wildlife etc to see about possibilities - in so doing he will show us how to do these surveys so we can begin to map all the rivers around us from that sort of perspective.

We are delighted he expressed an interest in becoming involved with the Frome - but we need to give him some info first. It was agreed that a section of the Painswick stream was probably best for the walk, and that we would try and do it soon on a Sunday. Anyone want to join us?

We meet again in two weeks to discuss whether to formalise the Stroud Valleys Water Forum into some structure - not sure it is necessary at the moment especially as individual groups have structures - The Ruscombe Brook Action Group even has a formal partnership agreement with local Councils and other bodies. Anyway let's see what the discussion brings...

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