Category: January

Keeping the Welland Cool- Tree planting near Gretton- 27th January

Gretton tree planting

Gretton trees-1

On Saturday 27th January, 15 community volunteers from the area joined the Welland Rivers Trust to plant sapling trees near the River Welland by Gretton Village (Northamptonshire). The aim of this work was to create important riverine habitat for wildlife, but also to help reduce flooding in the area, as trees are effective in slowing down flood water, and in soaking up water in the soil. We planted a range of different native species appropriate for wet soils, including English oak, Aspen, Alder, Hazel and Crab apple. Despite windy and wet conditions, we managed to plant around 240 saplings over 2 hours. The Welland Rivers Trust are extremely grateful to everyone who helped.

Gretton trees-2

The Welland Rivers Trust will also be joint-hosting a tree planting event in Lubenham next month (24th February), but this time we will be aiming to plant over 1,000 saplings to create a community woodland. This will be a collaborative effort between the Welland Rivers Trust, The Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust, and the Woodland Trust. Please follow our Twitter and Facebook pages to find out more information and to sign up for this event. We hope to see you there.

EA River Welland fish survey report

EA River Welland fish survey report


This report provides a brief summary of results from recent fish population surveys on the River Welland between Market Harborough and Spalding. The surveys were carried out to assess the health of the river and enable successful management of our principal fisheries


• Ten electric fishing sites were surveyed during 2017 along the upper Welland (above Peakirk). The wide river downstream of this between Crowland Bridge and Spalding was surveyed using hydroacoustic technology during the night when fish are more active.

• Sixteen species of fish were recorded and a total of 1110 fish were captured for measurement in the upper river electric fishing sites.

• Chub and dace were the most widespread species, being recorded at seven and six sites respectively.

• Roach were the most numerous species.


Follow this link to access the full report: River Welland survey report 2017

EA River Glen fish survey report

EA River Glen fish survey report



• Seven sites approximately 100m each on the Glen system were surveyed between February and November 2017; five of these sites were surveyed using electric fishing, one seine netting and a 12km side scan survey was undertaken on the lower river between Surfleet Seas End and the “Flats” upstream of West Pinchbeck. One electric fishing site was undertaken on the Bourne Eau at Mays Sluice in Bourne, with the rest of the drain being side scanned in early December to assess shoaling fish in colder temperatures.

• Two of the sites near Waterside Garden Centre were undertaken as part of specific monitoring work for the off channel habitat improvement scheme.

• Sixteen species of fish were recorded and a total of 14118 fish were captured;

• Pike and dace were the most widespread species, being recorded at seven and six sites respectively.

• Roach were the most numerous species and also had the highest biomass.

Health of fish population:

• Results from the upper river electric fishing sites are promising, fifteen different species were captured from the sites with dace populations particularly strong in areas off the back of riffles or deeper holes in the bed at places like Kates Bridge and Carlby. Wild Brown Trout are present as well as Eel, which is classed as critically endangered, Bullheads and Brook Lamprey; all of these species are on the BAP (Biodiversity Action Plan) list.

• The main restriction on fish in the upper river will always be hydrological. The river depends on groundwater from the Lincolnshire Limestone, as levels drop off during dry periods it negatively affects the river. The Environment Agency runs the water transfer scheme from the River Gwash via pipeline into the Glen at Essendine; this was turned on in August to supplement flow coming down the river. Without this the river would be in danger of stopping flowing and drying up down to Kates Bridge. The types of fish species present in the upper system will always be sensitive to flow rates, for spawning, for water quality and for creating habitat and refuge.

• The lower river does contain good shoals of roach, tench and some carp but locating them as an angler can be difficult and conditions need to be right to catch. Bream haven’t been captured in large numbers in the river for a long time now so further investigation on the river in the future will concentrate on these. Excessive weed growth will always be a problem over summer for years to come, the combination of nutrient rich silt and water combined with low flows make for ideal growing conditions. It remains a river where if you put the time in there are good fish to be caught.

• The fish population in the Bourne Eau is being limited by the level of sediment present. There may be future benefits for both flood defence and fish communities in the future from sediment removal.

Follow this link for the full report: River Glen survey report 2017

EA River Gwash fish survey report

EA River Gwash fish survey report


Great news, the Environment Agency recently conducted fish surveys at two sites along the River Gwash, and identified very healthy fish stock in this river:


• Two sites on the Gwash system at Foundry Road and White post Bridge were electric fished to assess the fish population present.

• Eleven species of fish were recorded and a total of 364 fish were captured for measurement (minor species such as stickleback etc. are recorded for the presence but not collected during surveying)

• Brown trout (209 fish) were the most numerous species followed by dace (96), grayling (25) and chub (25). Eel and perch were also present in small number.

• The largest brown trout was 354mm in length which would be a fish of over a pound in weight.

• The largest grayling caught was 310mm in length.

• Fish numbers are good compared to historical catches from the two sites dating back to the 1990’s.


The Gwash holds good densities of fish in it throughout its course. Wild brown trout continue to thrive with good numbers found at both sites surveyed for this report. Grayling appear to be doing well with over twenty fish picked up at Foundry Road. Continued habitat improvement schemes on the river combined with fish passage schemes will go some way to improving fish stocks. The densities of trout in the Gwash are the highest on the Welland system, it is likely the sea trout found in the river may be related to fish from the Gwash. Further investigation may reveal more on this.

Follow this link for the full report: Gwash trout numbers 2017 survey

Funding Submission: Esmee Fairbairn Foundation

esmee pic

In collaboration with the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, the Welland Rivers Trust have submitted a funding application to investigate the key link between dietary preferences, water quality and freshwater ecology.

Through this fund, we want to build on our existing science and local community engagement by increasing awareness of the general issue of domestic sources of phosphorus in water, including the role of septic tanks and STWs, and the role of diet in influencing this. We want to conduct questionnaires to gather information from rural and urban residents on their diet and attitudes to dietary change, to explore synergies with key individual and community influences on dietary choice (e.g. health, identity, culture), and to use this information to develop an improved shared understanding of the issue.

As far as we are aware, despite being a UK-wide problem, this is the first time that the link between individual diet, water quality and freshwater ecology has been made. Our approach to engaging the local community in this environmental issue is therefore radical. We are adopting a ground-breaking and creative approach to addressing this specific issue, but the principle of linking individual behaviour to environmental quality is one which has wide application for a range of other issues. As everyone eats, the issue we focus on has wide appeal and can encourage a range of individuals to consider how they might make positive changes to their own behaviour, whether through their diet or more broadly, to improve their environment.

This project makes environmental issues relevant to people’s everyday lives by increasing their understanding of the role of food in their lives and the impact it can have on community wellbeing, and seeks to encourage them to question their attitudes towards food. The work is highly participatory in that it explores food sustainability through a range of inclusive approaches.

We will let you know how we get on. Fingers crossed!!!!

Tesco Bags of Help Voting

River Wardens


Our River Warden Project is up for public voting at Tesco in Oakham, Rutland.

We have applied for £4,000 from the Tesco Bags of Help fund to create a River Warden volunteering network across the River Welland catchment, to protect the river for both people and wildlife.

The River Warden Scheme will give people who care about the River Welland and their local environment a chance to:

– Work with the Welland Rivers Trust to provide river monitoring

– Carry out river management

– Document and report pollution and other incidents

– Involve their local community and neighbourhood in river restoration and conservation projects

– Act as a point of liaison between the Welland Rivers Trust and their local community

At the Welland Rivers Trust, we want the river to be at the heart of local communities. We believe that community involvement is key for the conservation and restoration of the River Welland and its entire catchment area.

As a River Warden, volunteers will be the local champion for the River Welland, acting as our eyes and ears on the ground to protect the Welland and its tributaries. Initially, we want to pilot this scheme with 3 or 4 parishes, with a view to rolling out the initiative to other parishes, based on the lessons learnt.