We have proof! After last being seen in 2014, trout have returned to the River Trym. Peter Coleman-Smith says, “Ever since I became aware of the Trout in the Trym group I’ve wondered if there are any in there. Well, this morning I answered the question.”
The River Trym is a city river running through the north of Bristol. It takes run-off from Filton and flows through Southmead, Badock’s and Westbury, and joins the Hazelbrook (which originates near Cribbs Causeway and runs through Henbury) in Blaise, and then continues through coombe Dingle and Sea Mills to flow into the Avon. Like many urban rivers it struggles with pollution and sewer contamination, fly tipping and littering, being contained in concrete pipes, artificial weirs and invasive plant species.
Trout in the Trym is a project involving hundreds of people across 7 community groups who want to regenerate this river, providing clean water and a healthy environment for the many plant, insect, bird and fish species who could live here, and making the river walks some of the most beautiful spots in the north of our city. Trout were chosen as a marker species because if you can have a healthy sustainable trout population, then that shows your river is a clean and healthy ecosystem.
So far the groups have together cleared tons of rubbish, planted over a thousand trees, and started regularly monitoring the water quality and insect life. This year the big push is to remove the Himalayan Balsam, an invasive plant which inhibits native plant growth and leads to erosion. Theo Pike of the Wild Trout Trust commented that “Trout in the Trym’s plans for removing Himalayan Balsam is one of the most co-ordinated and impressive projects I have ever seen”.
And yesterday Peter Coleman-Smith saw a trout – but this isn’t the end of the work – he says, “Now our challenge is to sustain and grow the trout population in the Trym – they are there, they just need a bit of a helping hand”.
For all the up to date news and information on how to get involved, see www.TroutintheTrym.co.uk