MP visits local rivers Trust project
A new charity working to protect rivers in West Sussex welcomed the Arundel and South Downs MP Nick Herbert at the launch of their first annual report.
The Arun and Rother Rivers Trust (ARRT) is one of the newest members of the national Rivers Trust network. All the trustees are volunteers and work in partnership with local angling clubs and landowners to take care of the Arun and Rother rivers and improve the health of the waters.
The Trust's chairman Sir Sebastian Anstruther invited Mr Herbert to see one of the charity's projects and to receive the first of their annual reports.
They visited a completed project at Shopham Bridge near Petworth. In 2012, ARRT successfully bid for just over £100,000 of government funding to enhance the Western Rother at Shopham Bridge, south of Petworth. ARRT has worked closely in partnership with the Wild Trout Trust and the local Petworth and Bognor Angling Club to provide habitat improvements, creating a better environment for fish.
This has been achieved with the construction of a 60 metre long stone and gravel riffle and the creation of a refuge where the fish can escape forceful river flows during heavy rainfall and prevent them being washed towards the sea.
The Trust has outlined a number of other projects along the rivers Arun and Rother to protect and improve them.
Sir Sebastian Anstruther said: "Launching our first annual report is an important milestone. It is a time to say why we are here, what we aim to achieve and why we hope for continuing local support.
"We are immensely proud of what we have achieved in such a short time - this project at Shopham is just one example - and we are delighted to have Nick Herbert MP here to see the results of our work first hand."
Mr Herbert said: "I was fascinated to see the river projects on the Rother and impressed by everything that the new Trust has done in a short time.
"We think of the Downs as characterising the local landscape, but our rivers are equally significant, and they are under some stress. The Trust is doing great work with limited funds to conserve the Arun and Rother rivers, especially in bringing together people who share a common interest in protecting and improving these important natural resources.
"I hope that the Trust continues to grow in strength."
1. For more information about the Arun & Rother Rivers Trust please see their website http://www.arrt.org.uk/
2. To view a map of the Arun and Western Streams catchment visit: http://www.arrt.org.uk/media/ARRT_Catchment_Map.pdf