National conservation award for Trust

Wednesday 26th October 2011

Project Manager Martin de Retuerto receives Wild Trout Trust awardProject Manager Martin de Retuerto receives Wild Trout Trust award

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust's Winnall Moors Restoration Project has been named joint winner of the 2011 Orvis Wild Trout Trust Conservation Award.

The project had been nominated for the river restoration work along the famous Barton Carrier and the River Itchen, which is part of the five year Heritage Lottery funded floodplain restoration project.

Being awarded at a ceremony in the Savile Club, Mayfair, this fantastic accolade is awarded by the Wild Trout Trust to ‘recognise excellence in the management and conservation of wild trout habitat, celebrating the efforts, skills and ingenuity of projects carried out both by professionals and by grass roots voluntary organisations.’

Both wild brown trout and Atlantic salmon have spawned on newly created gravel beds, while trout and grayling of all ages are being seen regularly.

The judges apply rigorous and wide ranging criteria in their evaluation of each project, assessing not just the impact on wild trout, but also benefits to wider conservation interests, sustainability, educational value and innovation. The Winnall Moors nomination was unique in that the project was part of a wider floodplain restoration programme and had tackled some significant logistical challenges.

The completion of river work this summer has seen over 2km of river transformed.

Martin de Retuerto, Project Manager, Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust said:

“We are monitoring the river very closely to record how wildlife responds, and it appears to be making an astounding recovery. Fish surveys have been extremely encouraging with a large number of wild fish recorded – a stark contrast to survey results several years ago. Both wild brown trout and Atlantic salmon have spawned on newly created gravel beds, while trout and grayling of all ages are being seen regularly. Water crowfoot is emerging in areas where it has not grown for many years. One of the Wildlife Trust’s objectives is to use the rivers at Winnall Moors as demonstration sites for other river owners and fishery managers who hope to undertake their own restoration schemes.”

You can find out more about the work on Barton Carrier in a feature on Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust’s website .