I’m on time for once! Apologies to my avid readers about my tardiness with writing my last blog. You’ll all be glad to hear this one is on time and I endeavour to keep on top of things.

Brushcutter Training

November started off with yet another training course, something which makes up a large part of the traineeship, as it is all about giving you the qualifications and experience needed to be fully employed in the role. This time it was the use and maintenance of brush cutters and trimmers. As you would imagine the maintenance side was very similar to chainsaws, but of course the actual handling of them is quite different. Therefore it was very useful to get some practical experience and instruction in using them as well as another accreditation card.

Bristol Avon Catchment Partnership Forum

Not long after that last training course Abigail and I went to the Bristol Avon Catchment Partnership (BACP) Forum. An event put on by the BACP to celebrate some of the projects it, and its members, have run in the last year as well as providing a platform for people to network and strike up useful working relationships. In addition to this, we also manned a stand at the event advertising the work we have and are currently doing on the Bristol Avon as well as our future plans. This was great fun and it was really good to talk to a wide variety of partners and stakeholders on the Bristol Avon Catchment about work that’s going on as well as ways in which we could potentially work together on projects.  

Garden Meets the River’s Edge

Later on in the month, I started work on the Garden Meets the River’s Edge project. This is a project on the Hampshire Avon SSSI which aims to inform local gardeners/contractors and people living with a river frontage of when an Environment Agency permit or Natural England Consent may be required for works or management of the river bank. In addition, it aims to raise awareness on why the Avon is an SSSI and the methods of bank management that are suitable for the river bank and wildlife. As part of this project, we will be distributing a leaflet as well as holding talks and events. So if you or anyone you know lives alongside the river and would like to know more, or for us to hold an event for your local area get in touch ([email protected]) and we will see what we can arrange.

River Biss and Worton Stream Walkover

Towards the end of the month, we partook in a number of walkover surveys on the Bristol Avon catchment. These are to make up part of an initial assessment of the condition of these two tributaries to expand our knowledge on their condition so we can prioritise areas for restoration work and provide a more holistic approach to river restoration. 

Natural Flood Management Project

And finally, the month ended with a visit to a natural flood management project being run by the Wessex Chalk Streams and Rivers Trust in Hampshire. This was a really fun day, one of the best on the job so far, building partial log dams in a woodland ditch with the aim to slow the flow of water and increase the lag time in heavy rain conditions whilst not affecting the discharge during normal flow conditions.

Tune in next month to find out what new adventures I’ve got up to, and in the meantime check out our twitter page (@Wiltsrivers) to see what the water team here, at the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust is getting up to.