South East Wales Rivers Trust (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 usage 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 impact. 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. That said we do share some common issues and expertise. It is not uncommon for us to work jointly on matters when appropriate, for example involvements in the Western end of our remit in the Vale of Glamorgan where things like agricultural run-off and river bank erosion are similar to issues across rural Wales.
Our work on rivers themselves ranges from small very cost effective physical projects such a removing small weirs to the 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 the engagement of local communities; the latter through such things as schools 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 similar but, because of things such as lack of access in urban environments to bring in machinery or even workers, prove to be 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 at the moment that is 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.