River restoration, Trout, Trout in Dirty Places, Urban rivers, Wild Trout Trust

Trout in the Town: How I’m joining the Wild Trout Trust

Nearly a week after we broke the news on social media, I’m still finding it hard to express how incredibly excited I am to be joining the Wild Trout Trust as their new Trout in the Town officer for the south of England and Wales.

Of course, everything has moved on a long way since I was part of that small group of anglers who started pulling shopping trolleys out of the Wandle in south London. The little Wandle Trust has grown up into the big South East Rivers Trust – and in fact the whole idea has spread so that the UK is now completely covered by Rivers Trusts and catchment partnerships looking after rivers from source to sea.

But underneath all of this, I still believe there’s lots of room for local people to start taking personal pride and responsibility for the little urban rivers on their own doorsteps. Most towns were built where they are because of their streams and rivers, and everybody feels an instinctive connection with running water. Healthy, freely-flowing rivers bring a deep, subconscious level of meaning to the places where we live, and I speak from (nearly – how did that happen?) decades of experience when I rip off Kenneth Grahame to say that “there is nothing, absolutely nothing, half so much worth doing as simply messing about in the river at the end of your road”.

So, from 3 April, for 2 days a week, I’ll be teaming up with my old friend Paul Gaskell (hero of Trout in Dirty Places long before I dreamed I’d ever find myself working alongside him) to help spread the word of Trout in the Town.

Get in touch if you’d like to talk about mending your own urban river. It might change your life. It certainly seems to have changed mine!