Liz Viggars (SusWoT), Alastair Blackwell (Friends of Blaise), 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)
Alex Dunn (SusWoT), Peter Coleman Smith (SusWoT)
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). Bryony volunteered to see if there were any menders within the Repair Cafe who might be able to help.
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.
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.
There may have been some confusion with the Fixit team who may believe that the work is being done by volunteers.
SusWoT has secured a £1000 grant on behalf of Trout in the Trym 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.
Alastair was keen to understand who in the council was pushing the Climate and Ecological Emergency work forwards. Liz suggested he made contact with Alex Ivory at BCC.
An application has also been made to the BACP for monitoring wildlife in the Trym – including voles and otters. The grant is to facilitate training of volunteers and production of educational materials. Roger is aware that the Somerset Mammal Group run small mammal surveys. He agreed to contact them to see whether they want to help. There have been claims that voles have been seen in the area.
Frances has also made grant applications for various projects on behalf of Friends of Badocks Wood
Pollution Incidents – reporting
Attendees remain keen to encourage people across the community to report pollution incidents. Wessx 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
Liz reported that one of the volunteers has been building an app to help reporting of flytipping, Balsam and so on. A 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. We intend to develop this to map problems and then deal with them (eg by sending volunteers to clear up).
Links to Other Groups/ Projects
There was a meeting advertised on the Parks Forum about Connecting Rivers Projects. Nobody from Trout in the Trym was able to attend. Alastair to investigate what happened at this meeting and whether there are opportunities to get involved.
Should we link up with the BS9 Wildlife Group – Di to investigate
Roger reported that the trees in the Southmead Trym Valley were recovering from the hot spell. Other areas had not been so lucky. It was suggested that people looking for replacement/additional trees for Sea Mills/Shirehampton (Nikki?) might want to try the Bristol Tree forum or Woodland Trust.
There were reports that the Kingfishers had been seen again. A number of people had also spotted trout.
Friends of Badocks Wood had held their bat walk and identified a number of different species.