10 November 2022 Meeting Minutes


Liz Viggars (SusWoT), Roger Moses (Friends of Badock’s Wood), Bryony Cole (Sea Mills and Coombe Dingle Climate Action Group), Zac Jones (SMCDCAG), Di Bunniss (Friends of Blaise), Peter Coleman Smith (SusWoT), Dan Brunton


Alex Dunn (SusWoT), Alastair Blackwell (Friends of Blaise), Mark Maggs (Sustainable Henbury and Brentry)

Water Voles and Otters in the River Trym Project

SusWoT has been awarded a £900 grant from the Bristol and Avon Catchment Partnership. Peter Coleman Smith is leading the project. He outlined the three main areas of the project:

  • a formal survey of the area to see if and where they can be found already
  • assess the environment and what could be done to enhance it
  • train observers

This project raises the profile of a neglected urban waterway.

We discussed how likely it was that small mammals would be found along different sections of theTrym. For example Badocks is not good, but otter spraint has been spotted at the Sea Mills end of the Trym.

It is important to collect data. There are 22 species of wildlife in the Trym according to BRERA.

Roger, Di and Nikki Jones (Friends of Sea Mills Meadow) are keen to be involved in the project and have many useful contacts.

River Cleaning See map for current situation

SusWoT continues to run twice-weekly river-cleaning sessions. Parks are sending a truck to the end of the Friday sessions and they collect Sunday’s haul on Mondays. Parks weigh the rubbish – and we are currently clearing over 1 tonne per week. A lot of this is historic and includes bricks and rubble. While the bricks do not cause the same level of environmental damage as, for example, plastics or motorbikes, their presence seems to encourage further flytipping.

The main exercises have been focussed on Crow Lane, The Dingle (from the Blaise lower car park to Shirehampton Road) and Southmead Trym Valley. Roger reported that on his last visit to Southmead, the area had looked fairly clean.

The nature of the work means that kit is becoming damaged or worn out. Some of the kit should be repairable (eg rips in waders, re-setting of Ranger Maxes). A Repair Cafe mender suggested we need to look for big patches to repair the waders and look at inner tube kits.

Lots of Voi scooters are being thrown into the river – these can be reported via the Voi app or their website. Voi are fairly quick to pick them up.

Dan reported that the river had been quite deep at the latest clean making access tricky. A ladder might be helpful.

Himalayan Balsam

Limited Balsam was found this year and was kept under control by a small number of volunteers – both individually and as part of the SusWoT Friday and Sunday sessions. Unfortunately some was identified late in the season that had set seed. Liz will map these areas and make sure that they get sufficient early attention next year.

Silt Traps

Alistair provided an update in August that the Council has now found the drawings of the silt traps and they are not as deep as first thought. This may make the issue easier to resolve. Parks have made a request for funding to tackle the silt in the Autumn. We wait to hear. Alastair due to meet Caroline next week.

Grant Applications

We are currently making use of 2 grants awarded to SusWoT on behalf of Trout in the Trym

£1000 from the Bristol Climate and Ecological Emergency Fund adminstered via the Quartet Foundation. The money is being used to purchase extra equipment to continue the cleaning work and encourage new groups to get started. The equipment is available to all groups across Trout in the Trym.

£900 from the Bristol and Avon Catchment Partnership for the Voles and Otters Project – see above

Pollution Incidents – reporting

Attendees remain keen to encourage people across the community to report pollution incidents. Wessex Water have been very responsive.

Please continue to notify Peter and Liz of pollution incidents to help with long-term monitoring.

Yellow fish and rain in drain awareness

We will do this, however at the moment schools are overloaded. Peter has emailed the BART project office to find out what happened with the last Yellow Fish Campaign

Action Peter: to chase for response

Reporting Tools

Liz demonstrated the new SusWoT reporting tool that is in development. The prototype is available at https://wotplot.herokuapp.com Via this page, people can take photos on their mobile phone and upload to a central map. SusWoT used the app to coordinate the Big Tidy around Clover Ground at the end of October.

Links to Other Groups/ Projects


Roger proposed to extend his Bird Song Training programme this year and suggested 3 sessions at the end of March. These would consist of a 1 hour talk indoors followed by a 1 hour walk outside. Roger, Liz and Bryony to consider locations in their respective areas.

Peter and John have created a ‘Fishtolian’ Podcast was due to air on 11 November at 10am on BCFM

Trymwood Studios have an art exhibition about the Migration of eels.