From source to sea, the Bristol Avon is under continuous pressure by mankind. The river network is affected by agricultural practices (to feed us), flood management (to protect us), abstraction (to supply our water), effluent (from systems that treat our sewage and from industry), or just by our using it for leisure and recreation purposes. There are other problems too, but they are all mainly as a result of the pressures we place on the river network. These pressures will not go away and will increase as populations of local towns and cities increase.

BART recognises these pressures and the need to improve our rivers by collaborative working at a river catchment scale (looking holistically at the whole catchment, including the interactions between land-use and the river network).

BART are charitable co-hosts of the Bristol Avon Catchment Partnership, which works with Environmental NGOs, Water Companies, Local Authorities, Government Agencies, Landowners, Angling Clubs, Farmer Representative Bodies, Academia and Local Businesses to deliver a range of environmental, social and economic benefits and helps to protect our precious water environments for the benefit of us all and nature.

Bristol Avon Catchment
Example projects
Winford Brook

Project Update: Delivering nature-based solutions in the Winford Brook

BART has implemented nature-based solutions to deliver multiple benefits in the Winford Brook catchment. As a result of a combination of desktop research and walkover investigations to ground-truth opportunities, BART has identified several locations where a suite of small-scale measures could contribute towards “slowing the flow” during rainfall events, reduce fine sediment and nutrient input…

Read more
South Brook Natural Flood Management

“Nature Based Solutions” in South Brook

BART has been attending site visits to gain landowner permissions within the South Brook catchment for the delivery of the Natural Flood Management (NFM) works. Schemes have been identified via BART’s previous survey work. This work could contribute towards reducing flood risk to local infrastructure, homes and businesses. The South Brook catchment, near Melksham, Wiltshire has…

Read more
River Chew Fisheries Improvement Project

River Chew Fisheries Improvement Project

Taking place between May 2019 and March 2020, The River Chew Fisheries Improvement Project is a partnership project funded by the Environment Agency and Bristol Avon Catchment Partnership. Project funding provided BART with the resource to work in partnership with River Chew angling clubs to better understand their concerns for the sport, whilst generating a plan that identifies areas within the catchment for improvement, including recommended…

Read more

“Working with Natural Processes” in the Winford Brook

BART has installed a series of ‘leaky dams’ that will help contribute towards “slowing the flow” and deliver for multiple benefits along a small tributary of the Winford Brook This particular scheme was identified during BART’s 2019/20 Winford Brook catchment wide survey funded by Bristol Water. BART has identified several schemes throughout the Winford Brook…

Read more

Restoring the Wellow, Midford & Cam Brooks

BART has recently secured funding via the Environment Agency’s Water & Environment Improvement Fund to deliver habitat enhancement projects in two locations along the Cam & Wellow Brooks. The project aims to directly improve two water-bodies that are not meeting Water Framework Directive targets – in particular failing for fish where the classification has declined…

Read more

Rod licence funds – Environment Agency reports

The Environment Agency has today released the annual fisheries report detailing how rod licence income was distributed by the agency and its partners to protect and enhance angling and fisheries. The report details aspects of fisheries including money used to restock England’s rivers, enforcement and participation. The Wessex report, featuring our weir removals on the Wellow Brook…

Read more

Walkover surveys find room for improvement!

BART have been very busy recently, travelling all over the catchment doing walkover surveys and writing advisory reports for river improvement projects including the Corston, Newton, and Nunney Brooks and the River Somer. Jess, our Aquatic Scientist, has found many issues on the Nunney Brook including channel straightening and re-enforced banks which means there is limited…

Read more

Somerset Frome Sediment Pathways Project

BART have completed a very interesting and useful project funded by the Bristol Avon Catchment Partnership this Spring. Sediment entering watercourses can have a detrimental effect on aquatic ecology, including fish and invertebrates.  This project has used predominantly field surveys to identify where sediment is entering watercourses in the upper Somerset Frome catchment and to…

Read more

Duchy of Cornwall river surveys

BART have been busy over the last few months undertaking a variety of river surveys on Duchy of Cornwall estate land near to Bath, including: In-stream and riparian habitat surveys Surrounding land use investigations to assess impacts on water quality. Water quality monitoring Macroinvertebrate surveys Macrophyte surveys Riparian tree surveys Findings from these surveys will…

Read more

NEW PROJECT!: Somerset Frome Diffuse Pollution Pathways

The Somerset Frome Diffuse Pollution Pathways project will use a risk grading approach to develop sediment pathway maps for the upper Somerset Frome (South of the town of Frome). To date, statutory monitoring programmes and local knowledge has been used to identify the main pressures and likely reasons for failure to meet water quality standards.…

Read more

**Confirmed crayfish plague on the By Brook**

Dear all,  Following a significant native white-clawed crayfish kill on the By Brook, Wiltshire in August/September, it has been confirmed that the crayfish sampled were infected with Aphanomyces astaci, which is the water mould (fungus) that causes crayfish plague. Crayfish plague is a deadly disease that infects and kills our native white-clawed crayfish. The invasive non-native…

Read more

New Catchment Plan launched for the Bristol Avon

BART are pleased to announce that The Bristol Avon Catchment Partnership, with whom BART are a member, have launched a comprehensive plan for improving our water environment. The new plan has identified four priority issues that need addressing to improve the health of the river environment: •Phosphorus (water quality issues) •Sediments (water quality/water quantity issues)…

Read more

BART becomes a Riverfly hub for the catchment

  The Bristol Avon Rivers Trust (BART) has spotted an opportunity to expand volunteering and engaging people actively with their local river through working with the Riverfly Partnership. Volunteering, particularly in the outdoors, is known to improve health and wellbeing for participants, whilst Riverfly Monitoring provides the opportunity to make a useful and ongoing contribution…

Read more

New Page!

We have added a new page on the website under the heading “What we do”. The page reflects the importance of Catchment Management and the role BART is playing locally in this respect. There are some leaflets reflecting our involvement in three initiatives currently running within the catchment – please feel free to download them…

Read more