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2014: A year of mending urban rivers

The latest episodes of my Urbantrout Diaries were published on just before Christmas – this time an end-of-year mini-series in which I’ve reviewed all the great urban river restoration projects that took place across the UK in 2014: In the UK’s river-mending community, this summer feels like the one when it’s all finally kicked into […]

Read Full Post », River restoration, Urban rivers, Writing Jan 04 2015

Now in the wild: My new Pocket Guide to Balsam Bashing

Invasive non-native species of all kinds, be very afraid. Today’s the day when my new Pocket Guide to Balsam Bashing officially gets let out to start kicking your ass in the wild. Me? I’ll mostly be spending the day at Farlows in central London, hoping to sign a few copies and chat about invasive species with anyone […]

Read Full Post », Invasive non-native species, London, Pocket Guide to Balsam Bashing, Writing May 08 2014

Wet weather in Wincanton

However many urban river restoration projects you get to know (and I got very familiar with a large number of them in the course of researching and writing Trout in Dirty Places), there’s something about meeting new people on the banks of their once-dirty-and-forgotten river that never grows old.  So it was a particular pleasure […]

Read Full Post », River restoration, Trout in Dirty Places, Urban rivers, Writing Mar 19 2014

Spawning time… and new beginnings!

As I’ve recently noted over on my Urbantrout blog, this is the time of year which can show even the best angler exactly what he’s been failing to catch all season… and early winter on the Wandle is no exception to this universal law. It’s a curious fact that since we saw that first pair […]

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Chalkstreams,, Freelance copywriting, River restoration, Trout, Urban rivers, Urbantrout, Wandle, Writing Dec 13 2013

Discovering the Dour

In September I took a trip down to Dover and discovered another little urban chalkstream that’s spookily similar to the Wandle: Long before recorded history, the Dour was responsible for creating one of Britain’s earliest natural harbours, wearing a deep notch into the chalk cliffs and providing Neolithic boatmen with a safe landing-place in a […]

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Chalkstreams,, Trout, Trout in Dirty Places, Urban rivers, Wandle, Writing Nov 02 2013

Bashing balsam

Several evenings in the past two months, I’ve followed the track of one of our previous volunteer balsam-pulling days, sniping late stragglers that pop their heads above the parapet of rusting brambles and bindweed. Absent overshading and other competition from its fellows, it’s amazing how the most inconspicuous seedling will snatch its chance to shoot […]

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Chub, Coarse fish on the fly, Dace, Fly-fishing,, Invasive non-native species, London, River restoration, Urban rivers, Urbantrout, Wandle, Writing Oct 07 2013

Spinners in south London

Can it really be 10 years since I wrote my first article for Well, yes, it probably can. Since 2003, Simon Lewin’s little Fish&Fly website has grown up into a truly international publishing brand that’s now known as MacNab Media. And while I’m still sometimes rocking that vintage LL Bean realtree fleece (possibly the […]

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Chalkstreams, Fly-fishing,, London, Trout, Urban rivers, Wandle, Writing Aug 28 2013