River restoration, Trout, Urban rivers, Wandle, Wild Trout Trust

Trout in the Town: South London to Somerset

Four years ago, give or take a few days, Sally and I took our final walk up the Wandle to hand over our keys to the estate agent who’d (mostly) been helping us to sell our house by the river in Carshalton.

As much out of habit as conscious farewell, we stopped and peered over the bridge at Papermill Close… and yes, there was a trout, finning gently below us, suspended in our little urban chalkstream’s characteristically crystal-clear water. That moment told us, just as clearly, that our work in south London was done.

Or almost done. Transitions can take time to do right, and it’s now two weeks since I finally stepped down from my 13-year role as chair of the South East Rivers Trust. This week, I’ve just been helping to train the first volunteer riverfly monitors for the towns in the hills around the Somerset Levels: giving residents of Cheddar, Wookey, Wookey Hole, Wells, Shepton Mallet and Croscombe the tools they need to keep a knowledgeable eye on their local rivers as part of my TWIST (Transforming Waterways In Somerset Towns) project with the Wild Trout Trust.

Trout in the Town forever. Onwards and upwards (and westwards!)