SEWRT is one of six Rivers Trusts in Wales. Although all the Trusts have similar aims and aspirations in respect of waterways health, access and education, our Trust faces many different challenges to the others. Our river systems predominantly flow through urban environments, in close proximity to significant human habitation and industry and their associated environmental impacts. This compares to the predominantly rural outlook of the others. The challenges also arise from the adverse legacies of industrialisation in the South Wales valleys, giving rise to significant social and economic concern and many deprived communities. Where we do share common issues with other trusts, it is not uncommon for us to share expertise and work jointly on matters when appropriate, for example, when addressing agricultural issues, prevalent throughout Wales, and in our case in the Vale of Glamorgan in particular.
Our work on rivers themselves ranges from: small very cost effective physical improvement projects such a removing small weirs; installation of large block stones to enable fish passage and the introduction of gravel beds to facilitate fish spawning. Much emphasis is placed on generally improving river and water feature habitats, biodiversity enhancement and doing this with the engagement of local communities; the latter through school and adult participation projects.
The practical river work is very varied and sometimes, different innovative solutions are needed to carry out jobs. Many of our tasks may look straight forward but, because of issues such as a lack of access routes for machinery in urban environments, they often prove to be particularly challenging.
We have numerous on-going and planned projects in the urban valleys environments and will be shortly working in what we consider as the most rural part of our area, the River Ely and its tributaries, and the River Thaw that runs through Cowbridge.
Please take time to look through our projects and they will show you what we mean. Please feel free to ask us questions or make suggestions for future schemes – we are always willing to listen to new ideas.