8 February 2022 Meeting Minutes


Alistair Backwell (Friends of Blaise),  Liz Viggars (SusWoT), Roger Moses (Friends of Badock’s Wood), Peter Coleman-Smith, Mark Maggs (Sustainable Henbury and Brentry), Alex Dunn (SusWoT),


Alice Clevely  (Sustainable Henbury and Brentry), will not normally be attending in future. Bryony Cole (Sea Mills and Coombe Dingle Climate Action Group), Zac Jones (SMCDCAG), Frances Roberston (Friends of Badock’s Wood).


Note [items in these brackets have been added post meeting.]

Pollution Incidents – reporting

Previously: LV said that a record of pollution incidents is maintained. (Action All ensure that people monitoring the river in your area are aware that incidents reported to the authorities should also be reported to Liz.) Some people are reluctant to report incidents, we agreed that in this case we would report them for them.  The issue is that slow reporting of incidents makes it being much harder to identify causes. There has still been no further feedback from the two incidents that had been reported to Wessex (Trowbridge Road and Wildlife Park).  [Can we confirm that monitors have the appropriate phone numbers on their phones – Action All] Action All: Groups need to continue to build monitoring capacity and make sure people know what to do.  All this is on the website, including the phone numbers that should be on people’s phones.

8 Feb: P C-S highlighted that Wessex Water were our best ally. It is hoped that a misconnect in Southmead has beed fixed, if so the fungal growth on the pipes entering the Trym should die away.

There has been an incident on Hazel Brook, before it enteres Blaise. Precise location unknown. Action Mark Try to find people who regualrly walk along Hazel Brook so that sources of pollution are identified to allow accurate reporting there.

Yellow fish and rain in drain awareness

Previously: The Yellow Fish campaign would be launched in the Spring with messages to schools and the Wildlife leaflet would be used to make schools aware of the Trym and its wildlife on their doorstep.  We will need to identify appropriate contacts in all local schools.We should monitor building works as likely sources of harmful materials going down the drain.  We should look to educate people in the importance of the three p’s only going into the sewage drain.

8 Feb: Wait.

Wildlife Leaflet

Previously: There was a discussion about whether or not it should be printed, it was not designed to be printed.  It can be downloaded as a pdf.   It was agreed to investigate printing as Alastair was keen to have something to hand out in Blaise.  The leaflet will be publicised through the various local news publications in the area in March and or April. Bryony is writing a note about the work Trym in the Trymare doing for a Sea Mill publication that will point people to the leaflet online as well as explaining the work being done.  This will be adaptable for all areas.  (Action Bryony: Article about Trout in the Trym that promotes leaflet and is adaptable.) School Assembly, we’ve been asked to talk at a school assembly about Trout in the Trym work.  Clear requirements needed.  Bryony reports: The school assembly is really on hold until covid restrictions are lifted. Then we can plan what they would like and when. 

8 Feb: Bryony’s article has been circulated for use in local media. Jon is happy to adapt the poster as required, this is now tied into the walkfest below.

Winter Cleaning

Previously: Regular river cleans are taking place now.  SusWoT are holding theirs every Friday 10:00-12:00 and every Sunday 11:00-13:00.

Henbury and Brentry

Previously: Work is yet to start.  Mark was encouraged to start cleaning work as soon as possible as a way of getting people in the area involved.  A relaunch meet is due to be held 12 Jan 22.  An Event is being planned for April.  Will TitT want a stall?  Alex said SusWoT may be able to support cleaning here.  (Action Mark: report what needs to be done in Hazel Brook  as SusWoT may be able to provide assistance.)

8 Feb Mark reported that the worst rubbish was to be found near the bridges over the brook. There had been about 10 people turning up to meetings but no cleaning work had been planned yet. Mark has a wetsuit. Mark stated that there were carpets and clothes as well other rubbish to remove. Action: Mark to organise Saturday morning river picking activities (10-12) as soon as possible. Peter C-S said he would support this. SusWoT woud support this too so that Mark could start to build up a team.


Previously: There is not thought to be any serious pollution but Alastair will talk to the rangers to find out what needs to be done.

8 Feb: Alastair reported that Simon Brooks does almost daily work maintaining a litter free Blaise. (Action Alastair: Check he is not removing natural wool from the river and whether additional work is needed to clean the river in Blaise.)

Coombe Dingle and Sea Mills:

Previously: Work has started here and huge amounts of rubbish have been removed.  There are still some stretches that have not been touched and those parts that have been done require more cleaning.  Zac reported that others had been removing pollutants in the area, he’d seen black bags of rubbish.

8 Feb: Work is continues to clear this section. See map. New rubbish is found each time some sections are cleaned. Some sections are being left until the summer as they are deep.

Golf Course:

Previously: Not done.  Not thought to be serious due to regular maintenance by the Golf Club.

Westbury Village:

Previously: Nearly done.  May wish to remove bricks and other hard core in the summer.  Some parts awkward to get to may need work in the future.


Previously: Assumed to be OK. 

Badock’s Wood: 

Previously: Some light litter but not a serious problem.  Any attempts to do serious work to the riverbed may be counterproductive because it may disturb existing wildlife that lives on and in the riverbed and hollow litter.

Frances has provided this better explanation since the meeting:

Some light litter but not a serious problem.   Many walkers in the wood pick up litter as they go and several individuals and families regularly litter pick in the wood of their own volition, as well as occasional organised litter picks by Friends of Badock’s Wood. However, there is historic waste from when the prefabs were demolished which emerges on the slopes along the river (NB not in the river).  This waste – e.g. broken china – surfaces through the soil particularly after rain. “
There is no buried rubbish in the river bed, thankfully 🙂  But the above explanation simply serves to explain why litter appears that seems peculiar as it is not cans, crisp packets etc .

Southmead Trym Valley:

Previously: Almost done.  The water course has been done to a good standard but it may be that tiles and bricks should be removed in the summer, or earlier if possible.  There are still fantastic amounts of fly tipping here so it may be necessary to organise regular clean ups. Bristol Waste will install hidden cameras in places where there is regular serious fly tipping that justifies it.  We are not aware of Parks having a similar scheme.

8 Feb: A litter pick took palce on 6 Feb and 8 full sacks of rubbish removed, also lots of other substantial items, the grate was also cleared. The river was relatively clean. Regular visits will required to maintain this level of cleanliness. The misconnect issue has been reported as resolved by Wessex Water.


Previously: Action Alex: Create a map of the live situation for the website.

8 Feb: Map is now online showing state of each section.

Silt Traps and Weirs 

Previously: Alex said that the current tasks for the TitT Group were defined and manageable, cleaning the river and removing the balsam.  The two other principle tasks were more awkward, removing the silt and the weirs.  100% of Bristol’s waterways have water quality that supports healthy wildlife by 2031 is goal 188 on the City Dashboard.  There are other similar goals from other city organs I’m sure.  To do this we will need to sort the silt, and you can’t sort the silt without dealing with the problems caused by the weirs. It may not be necessary to remove the weirs if notches can be inserted that allow the water to flow fast enough to stop the silt settling. We would like to know how much it would cost to empty the silt traps.It was suggested we could see if we could remove the silt from the silt traps ourselves and lower the height of the weirs by putting in notches, It was agreed that we should look at the silt traps and lily pond to see for ourselves what is required. It is understood from previous work by Bristol University Students that although the water in the lily pond and silt traps is odiferous it is not toxic as defined by regulation for harmful metals.


Roger to provide Alastair with contact details for the digger people on the levels as they may know people in Bristol who could help.  Moving diggers a long way is too expensive. 8 Feb update: Roger has not been on the levels.

Alastair to contact Theo Pike and ask what are the things we might do (ourselves?) that would improve things with respect to silt and weirs, the most benefit, for the least effort, and with a chance of getting away with it. 8 Feb update: None given.

Alastair to organise a Sunday afternoon viewing of the silt traps, but not on the last Sunday of the month. 8 Feb update: This took place and people now have a better understanding of the situation and the need to open the trap.

Alastair to contact the appropriate people in the council asking how they propose to make the water quality in the trym excellent and asking if we/they can remove or notch the weirs and sort out the silt traps.  8 Feb update: Mary who was the previous contact has been replaced by caroline.ennion@bristol.gov.uk. Th

Alastair to look up the cost in 2004 of removing the silt in the Traps. 8 Feb update: None given.

Alastair to talk to ranger Nigel (Ian?) about what we actually could do with the silt traps. 8 Feb update: We need the keys to unlock it but we do not know where they are Ian gave them to the Fix It Team.

Other thoughts were get the Royal Engineers to build a bailey bridge, or use a boat to allow us to drain the lily pond. Severe H&S problems with these!

 WalkFest (All May 2022)

Frances will over see the organising of this. Need to register by 21 February. All attendees bar Alex agreed to take part in the organising. It was agree that the most important thing was to have one meeting as a way to raise the Trout in the Trym Profile. Action: Alex to pass details of those interested to Frances. Action: Frances to organise Zoom meeting to sort out what needs to be done.


Previously: Liz reminded the group that Parks require H&S risk assessments for activities on their land and will be submitting the SusWoT paperwork for 2022 shortly.  Has this been done?

8 Feb: There is a Park’s Health and Safety Course on 11 March. Action: Alex will send out details.