11 January 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), Bryony Cole (Sea Mills and Coombe Dingle Climate Action Group), Zac Jones (SMCDCAG), Alex Dunn (SusWoT), Nikki Jones (Avon Needs Trees)


Alice Clevely  (Sustainable Henbury and Brentry), will not normally be attending in future.


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

Pollution Incidents – reporting

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.

Yellow fish and rain in drain awareness

It was agreed that people washing their cars in the street would not be persecuted.

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.

Wildlife Leaflet

The leaflet is now more visible on the website.

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.  (Action Alastair: See how well the poster prints in its current form)

[Could we develop an App that worked as a guided walk?]

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. 

 Winter Cleaning

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

Brentry and Henbury: 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.)

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

Coombe Dingle and Sea Mills: 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.

Zac reported that somebody was living in a tent next to the Trym by Trym Cross Road has now moved.

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

Westbury Village: 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.

WWP: Assumed to be OK. 

Badock’s Wood:  Some light litter but not a serious problem.  Any attempts to do serious work to the riverbed may be counterproductive because the wood is built of rubbish.

Southmead Trym Valley: 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.

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

Silt Traps and Weirs 

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.

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.

Alastair to organise a Sunday afternoon viewing of the silt traps, but not on the last Sunday of the month.

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. 

Alastair to look up the cost in 2004 of removing the silt in the Traps.

Alastair to talk to ranger Nigel about what we actually could do with the silt traps.


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?