Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Trust Aims to Build on Success; FARMING

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Trust Aims to Build on Success; FARMING

Article excerpt

Byline: ROBERT GIBSON robert.gibson@ncjmedia.co.uk

THE Wear Rivers Trust is hoping to secure further funding for projects with local farmers after its most successful year to date.

During 2014, farmers in the Wear catchment area benefitted for the first time from Environment Agency grants to help retain soil and nutrients on their land while also benefitting the health of the river. The scheme was well received, and the organisation is now keen press ahead with additional work that has been identified.

Established six years ago through an amalgamation of the Weardale Environmental Trust and River Wear Environment Trust, the Wear Rivers Trust aims to improve the environment across the River Wear catchment.

Its recent partnership work with farmers in the area is just one of many successes to be highlighted in chairman Gary Johnson's most recent annual report, which details a host of environmental and educational improvements accomplished during 2014.

Throughout the year, for example, three pipe bridges were removed from the River Deerness, meaning fish can once again access the upper catchment to spawn. This helps increase fish numbers and food sources for other species such as kingfishers and otters.

A large rise in the number of young trout was likewise recorded in the Cong Burn, where previous fish passage improvements were carried out.

On the education side, the Trust worked with more than 700 children through its Riverfly and Mayfly in the Classroom projects, and was recognised by the Clyde River Foundation in Scotland and the Wild Trout Trust for it continued accomplishments.

During the year, it also set up a community angling scheme on the river in partnership with local angling clubs, the Angling Trust and the Wild Trout Trust, encouraging young people to take up angling and develop an interest in the health of the river. …

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