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Thames - West Area

Action for the River Kennet (ARK) & Savenake Flyfishers

Coordinator  Charlotte Hitchmough  05/01/12 Sites      River Kennet (8) Team      10 Activity   September 2007 Following the Riverfly Conferences in 2004 & 2007 I felt the time had come to translate the theory into practice. Preliminary soundings amongst fellow anglers on the Upper Kennet were sufficiently encouraging for me to approach Bridget Peacock at the Natural History Museum. The next thing I knew Cyril Bennett was appointed course tutor and we had our very own Riverfly Montioring for Anglers course . Twelve members of ARK and Savernake Flyfishers attended the workshop which we hosted in the Biology Laboratory of Marlborough College. The Kennet flows through the grounds of the College making for convenient proximity of classroom and river. Thanks to Cyril’s unparalleled knowledge and enthusiasm we had a great day which was educational and fun – no better way to learn. We are very grateful to Marlborough College and to Housemaster Sean Dempster for facilitating this. Two months on and we have a regular monitoring programme in place. We monitor at two sites. One is at Marlborough College and the other is at Mildenhall. Sean monitors the College site along with two students, as part of their environmental studies. These two sites are strategically placed in that they are above and below the town of Marlborough and hence ideally located to detect any pollution arising from the town. These sites complement the historical monitoring previously carried out by the Environment Agency at Stitchcombe which is further downstream. Our local EA Officer is actively supporting us. We are fortunate in having John Hounslow as our River Keeper. His expertise and hard work are second to none and the fantastic state of the river this year (with some help from the rain!) a testimony to him. John is strongly in favour of the monitoring initiative and typically does everything he can to support us. River Keepers downstream on the Kennet have shown interest in our monitoring programme and hopefully may wish to extend the programme to their stretches of the river. We are hoping that most people on the course will contribute to the monitoring. So far more than half of those who attended the course have taken part in the monitoring or have committed themselves to do so. All of those involved are members of ARK and about half are regular or occasional anglers and members of Savernake Flyfishers. They all share a love of the river and an enthusiasm to improve and protect the Kennet. We feel we are privileged to be able to enjoy the river and wish to contribute to its well being. Through our monitoring we have collected useful evidence on the impact of swans grazing ranunculus and resulting in riverfly population crashes. We have also seen that flow is related to riverfly abundance (this has led us to start recording water depth at each site when we do our kick samples). The data has proved useful in following before and after impacts of habitat restoration works in Marlborough.

Blewbury AMI Group

Coordinator  James Morgan  05/01/12 Team    2 Activity  2011 For more information contact

Cotswold Rivers Trust

Coordinator  Tony Bostock  05/01/12 Sites    Thames Catchment (10) Activity  2011 For more information contact

River Lambourn RENEWAL Community Project

Coordinator  Vicky Pudnor  05/01/12 Activity   2008 The first FWAG Riverfly Partnership workshop was held in September 2008, with participants including riverkeepers, anglers and land owners amongst others. The community project started in July 2010 and is mainly funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. We are currently recruiting volunteers to get involved with the monitoring and have a training course planned for May 2011. We don’t have our exact monitoring sites confirmed as yet, but we will be monitoring  between SU 470 683 and SU 487 675.

Wiltshire Wildlife Trust River Monitoring Scheme

Coordinator  Ben Fitch  05/01/12 Sites     By Brook (3), River Avon (8), River Biss (1), River Bourne (2), River Ebble (2), River Kennet (1), RIver Marden (1), River Nadder (3), River Ray (1), River Wylye (4), River's Brook (1), Semington Brook (1) Team     27 Activity  2007 The Wiltshire Wildlife Trust currently has 38 volunteers involved monitoring rivers in Wiltshire, with 27 trained and 27 monitoring sites.  The scheme began in 1992 but became involved in the AMI in 2007 and since then has greatly increased its volunteer base and the number of sites monitored.  Volunteers record invertebrates and other biodiversity along the river.  We liaise with many different monitoring groups in Wiltshire, such as Action for the River Kennet, Wiltshire Fishery Association, Wilton Fly Fishing Club and Salisbury and District Angling Club, so that monitors can be distributed effectively.  The scheme is overseen by the Wessex Chalk Streams Project and the Wiltshire and Swindon Biological Records Centre.  For more information please email: or visit: and follow the links from Get Involved! Wessex Chalk Streams Project Autumn 07 - River Monitoring –PDF-File, 217.4 KB