You may have seen volunteers litter-picking and removing rubbish from the river Trym in Southmead. This is part of an effort by our local group Trout in the Trym to clean the whole of the river Trym from Sea Mills to Southmead, plus the Hazel Brook too. The group is entirely volunteer led.
Volunteers are keen to restore and keep the health of the river Trym so we can all see and hear more wildlife, and can appreciate nature on our doorstep. Healthy rivers are a really important way to support wildlife and plants to thrive. Rivers provide safe places for animals to find water, food and shelter but these are disappearing due to climate change. Healthy rivers are also really great for us. Having access to wild spaces, seeing wildlife and having time away from city noises can support good mental health.
So far over 50 tonnes of rubbish has been taken out of the Trym. You never know what you’re going to find but some of the things our volunteers have hauled out include 11 motorbikes, countless carpets, plastic items, clothes, batteries, and builders’ rubbish. Removing this rubbish helps wildlife as harmful chemicals and micro-plastics are no longer polluting the water. Bristol City Council have helped by taking away the rubbish at the end of each session.
We’ve observed and reported plenty of wildlife already, including kingfishers and brown trout downstream of Westbury on Trym. Plus we’ve spotted mayflies and freshwater shrimps in Southmead. There have also been some recent reports of water voles. They used to live on the river decades ago but became very rare. Trout in the Trym, along with Bristol Avon Catchment Partnership, has arranged for a professional ecological survey this year to see if they really are back- watch this space. It will be great to see them return!
Everyone’s welcome to join our river cleaning sessions on Fridays and Sundays. We’ll start pulling out the balsam again in the summer. Balsam is an invasive plant which crowds out local UK plants and damages the soil. Controlling it helps the whole ecosystem. Please join us – you can find out about times and locations by visiting our website.
You can also read the online wildlife guide on our website and keep a look out! You can record anything you spot when you’re out and about by emailing us or telling us on Facebook.
The easiest way to look after the river is to think about what we put in the water and how we throw away our rubbish. It’s important not to fly-tip and always follow the 3 Ps! Never put anything except Poo, Pee and Paper down the toilet. Everything else can cause blockages or put something harmful in the water.
You can also report any pollution which you see. The sooner it’s reported along with the most accurate location, the sooner Wessex Water will come and take a look. You can call them on 0345 600 4600.
Are you interested in finding out more about Trout in the Trym? Would you like to go to a river cleaning session? Get in touch with the group.
tel: 07377 790 087