My Avon Stories project is based around the river and the waters in Bristol, and while I’ve been looking at how the river impacted on the history of Bristol, and how people use and are inspired by the river, I’m also very interested in the water itself – and in this podcast, I set out to find out more
I talked to Claire Hutchinson, a Project Officer with the Bristol Avon Rivers Trust (BART), a community-based charity that works to protect and improve the rivers and streams. Claire told me about how healthy the water is, the challenges and issues facing the rivers, including the different forms of pollution, and what BART, and we, can do to protect our environment.
The BART catchment area covers the Avon and all the tributaries that feed into it:
You can find out more about BART’s work on their website, including their projects, and the ones we talked about:
- The Bristol Avon Water Blitz, in partnership with FreshWater Watch, where members of the community tested the water quality in their local rivers – and the results from the latest survey.
- Teaching children that only rain goes in the drain
- Eels in the classroom – and the big release of eels into the river
- The volunteer Riverfly Monitoring Project, part of the national Riverfly Partnership work
- Volunteering as a BART Beacon (I’ve already signed up to do this, and if you regularly walk along, or spend time by one of the rivers and streams, I really recommend you do too) – and there are more ways to volunteer too.
I particularly like BART’s graphic showing what different forms of river pollution looks like. If you see any of these in any rivers or streams, please do call the Environment Agency to report it on their 24 hour hotline, 0800 80 70 60.
If you are ever unsure, you can always contact BART on social media, and send them a picture, and they’ll tell you whether it’s something to worry about. They’re super-friendly, and responsive – here’s what happened when I asked them about something I was worried about:
You can download this podcast directly from the Avon Stories Soundcloud, and sign up for all the future podcasts via the Avon Stories RSS and subscribe on iTunes, to make sure you hear all the future stories. You can also follow the project on twitter and instagram, for regular photos of the rivers in Bristol.