Trout Beck habitat improvements

Part of project: Habitat improvement

We’ve been working in the Trout Beck catchment (see map) since 1999. Over that time we’ve delivered a huge variety of small scale habitat improvement projects.

These included fencing, soil improvement, tree planting, farm advice and tree coppicing. All of the above have contributed to improving the habitat in the area, predominantly by excluding stock access to the rivers through planting – allowing the channel to naturally recover.

In 2019, we were awarded a Water Environment Grant (WEG) funded through the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development for habitat improvement works in the Trout Beck catchment.
This will involve 3 main tasks over the next two years:

  1. Fisheries habitat improvement

The Wild Trout Trust has carried out catchment walkovers to identify priority locations for habitat improvements. Multiple fencing projects have already begun to protect the channels from livestock poaching and planting trees to provide diverse habitat and create a buffer strip from surface water/sediment run-off.

  1. Channel modifications

The Flakebridge river restoration project was completed in September 2020. This involved implementing an assisted natural recovery approach to a historically straightened channel. Features such as bars and riffles were created along with multiple meandering channels and backwaters. Read more about this river restoration project in Chute in the Right Direction.

  1. Invasive species removal

Ecological consultants have completed a catchment-wide invasive non-native species (INNS) removal management plan with the aim to eradicate them from the catchment area. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic hindering progress to remove Himalayan balsam in 2020, we removed Balasm along a 1.5km stretch of the upper reaches of the Trout Beck.

Interested in getting involved? Get in touch with us on 01768 866788 or email to be kept up to date with INNS removal work parties in spring/summer 2021.

Getting the local community involved
We held a launch event in Long Marton in June 2019, which featured river-themed artwork by Long Marton Primary School. We are working with local schools throughout the project as well as running a number of volunteer events throughout the year that residents of all ages can get involved with.

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