October 2020
A message from the Rivers Trust CEO, Mark Lloyd

In recent weeks, we have seen several newspieces which make uneasy ready for nature lovers, especially for those passionate about protecting freshwater habitats. The WWF’s Living Planet Report showed the continuing decline of wildlife globally, with the biggest losses to freshwater ecosystems; the  Environment Agency released new water quality data showing us that 0% of English rivers are in good overall health; and Sir David Attenborough’s latest documentary “Extinction: The Facts” gave a stark warning that extreme biodiversity loss places us at risk of further deadly global pandemics.

The good news is that we know what to do and we even know how to do it. In the past year, the Rivers Trust movement has led the way in delivering effective nature-based solutions, from new fish passages in  the Severn and Don catchments unlocking our waterways for migratory salmon, to constructing wetlands to improve water management in urban areas. Our map of sewage overflow discharges throughout England has brought together data from numerous sources to make them available, free of charge, to everyone.  This is linked to a significant surge in interest in introducing designated bathing water standards in UK  rivers following the launch of our Together for Rivers campaign, with the River Wharfe in Ilkley vying to be  the first site to achieve this.
Click here to read the River Trust blog 'Seven Wonders of the River'

Despite all this great work at a local and catchment scale, our rivers are as unhealthy as they were 3 years ago. If we are to turn things around, it is imperative to keep collecting good, clear data on the health of our rivers. We also need an honest conversation at a national scale about the really big decisions that need to be taken, such as whether we are prepared to invest HS2- equivalent sums to modernise our drainage and sewerage system; what public goods we should expect in return for farm subsidies; and how polluters are going to be properly regulated so that their actions don’t heap costs onto the rest of society. Finally, we need to dramatically improve public understanding of the water system so that we massively reduce the impact of chemicals washed down drains, the profligate waste of high quality drinking water, the sanitary products flushed down toilets, the misconnections of washing machines and dishwashers, and the poorly-performing septic tanks that collectively cause huge environmental damage.

As Sir David Attenborough said: “What happens next, is up to every one of us.”
Well Dressing
Did you miss the River Rother well dressing at Tapton Lock? Why not watch the video and read our blog on the well dressing project
New Volunteer Opportunity: River walks & research!

We've been working with local social enterpise Kakou to develop a new website/app that features 5 new Chesterfield walks!

It's now up & running and we'd love your feedback on the walks and how it all works. If you fancy trialling the website and walking routes please get in touch.

We are hoping to record audio guides for each walks so that people can listen to stories and local history as they explore. Would you like to help us research the history of the area and write a script for an audio guide?

Volunteering for Water & Wildlife: A Farm NFM scheme
September has been a busy month for our natural flood management (NFM) work with an exciting new farm scheme now well and truly underway. We have been working together with the landowner to create nine scrapes (shallow, temporary ponds), two field corner ponds, and a floodplain meadow. We’ve achieved a lot with the help of our wonderful volunteers and been treated to close encounters with a family of buzzards, glimpses of kingfishers, regular heron sightings and flashes of bullfinch and yellowhammer. All of the newly created features should help to capture and slow down the rate of rainwater and runoff entering the River Rother which runs through the farm at the same time as boosting wildlife habitat READ MORE
Nature Journal: Finding Fungi
October is a wonderful time to go on a fungi foray - although many species of fungi can be spotted year round, Autumn is when many species come into fruit. Read on to find out our top places to spot Fungi in the Don Catchment. UK Fungus Day is on the 3rd October.
Our pick of fungi-filled woodlands in the Don Catchment

Best place to spot Fly Agaric,  Amanita Muscaria
Canklow Woods is an ancient woodland nestled away in Rotherham, a stone's throw from the River Rother. An oak & birch woodland with some heath habitat interspersed, it is fantastic for fungi - look out for the famous penny bun (a dish of many high-end restaurants where it's usually called porcini) and troops of fly agaric, the classic toadstool (pictured).

Best place to spot Birch polypore,
Fomitopsis betulina
WestWood in Brimington, Chesterfield is a Birch-Beech Woodland on an old colliery site, with pockets of ancient woodland nestled around the winding Trough Brook. Situated on a steep hill, there are brilliant tree top views throughout the woods, making it a remarkable autumn walk. Look along the paths for White Saddle fungus and check the birch trees for the bracket fungus Birch Polypore.

Best place to spot Chanterelle,
Cantharellus cibarius
Ecclesall woods in Sheffield is an oak-woodland which supports a whole host of oak-assosciated fungi. Look out for Beefsteak fungi, a bright red and juicy bracket growing on trees and clusters of trumpet-shaped chanterelles at the roots. Try exploring away from the paths for the best finds. The Limb Brook (a tributary of the Sheaf) flows through the woodland, you may spot bright orange deposits of ochre in it. The wood is also brilliant for sweet chestnut foraging at this time of year.

A note on fungi: At DCRT we don't recommend eating any wild food unless it has been identified by an expert. Many fungi are poisonous, and some are deadly, so please be cautious handling them and make sure to give your hands a good wash after.
Salmon of Steel Podcasts
Listen to experts and enthusiasts from across Sheffield speaking on the return of the salmon on these two podcasts, produced for the Festival of the Mind.
Salmon of Steel City Walk - click here
Salmon of Steel Story - click here
Salmon of Steel!
Did you spot the Salmon of Steel on the news last month, or even projected on to some of Sheffield's buildings for the Festival of the Mind?

If you missed the Festival, the 7-foot sculpture, created by Scrap Metal Artist Jason Heppenstall, will be on display at Sheffield Railway Station till March 2021.

Limited copies of the Salmon of Steel map, illustrated by Sophie Carter (who you may remember from our Voices of the Don book!) are now available at Kelham Island Museum. Alternatively, you can download it to use on your mobile device here
. Follow the map all the way to the station to see the Salmon of Steel.

You can find out all about our project with the University of Sheffield for the Festival of the Mind here -
We are now opening up volunteering to new volunteers!
Want to apply? Head to our Volunteer page to see our opportuntiies and fill in an expression of interest form
We follow the 5 Ways to Wellbeing

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Don Catchment Rivers Trust · Churchill Business Centre · Churchill Road · Doncaster, DN2 4LP · United Kingdom

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