RTCT October 2016 Newsletter

Welcome to our first RTCT newsletter. We always love to update people on what is happening around the catchment, and what better way to fill people in than with a monthly newsletter. We hope that you enjoy reading and welcome any suggestions for next month, just send an email to Emily Godfrey: emily@riverthame.org

Barbel are stocked in the Thame!

As part of a partnership between Cuddesdon Mill Village Anglers Association, the Thame Valley Fisheries Preservation Consultative and the Environment Angency, 6000 barbel have been released at three sites along the lower Thame. This marks 50 years since the clubs beginning and also a new way of working as the club will be working with the EA to develop some habitat improvement projects. We will be discussing their plans in the hope of contributing to these projects and increasing the effort to improve our wonderful river.

We were delighted to be invited to the release and had excellent weather.

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If you would like to find out more about joining the Cuddesdon Mill Village Anglers Association, and benefitting from all of this work, then please visit their website: http://www.cmvaa.org.uk/

Volunteer Courses coming up this month:

This month we are looking forward to welcoming volunteers on to our Riverfly and Pollution Monitoring Courses. Currently there is still space on both and we would love to see as many people there as possible.

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Our last riverfly course was an excellent success and we are keen to get more people out monitoring the important invertebrates in our rivers. If you are available on Friday the 7th of October and would like to join us then contact Emily.

We are excited to be welcoming Rob Davis from the Environment Agency to our pollution monitoring course. You will have the opportunity to learn about how to spot important signs of potential pollution and ask questions about the steps that you can take to protect water quality. We hope to see lots of people there on Monday 31st October.

Bird surveyors certainly aren’t ‘larking’ about as over 112 species recorded so far!

We now have over 850 wetland bird records which is starting to tell a story about the river which is really insightful. With two moths to go until we complete our first full year we should be approaching c. 1,000 records submitted to BTO Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS) records – a real achievement.

Nick Marriner released the news in August to let surveyors all know that we had passed 100 species overall, after downloading the full dataset from BTO, he has now confirmed that the story is even more exciting as we have now recorded 112 species in total (including Wheatear as our 112th this month).

Nick is in the proves of finalising plans to launch a new ‘Atlas’ bird survey looking at breeding and wintering records of all species across the whole River Thame catchment area. A very exciting and ambitious plan that will sit alongside our WeBS survey and broaden our partnership with BTO. If you are keen (or know any other keen birdwatchers good all round ID skills) to find out more and get involved in a new survey then please let get in touch!

Invasive Species of the Month!

Each month we ask you to keep an extra eye out for a certain invasive species. We have so far had great success with volunteers reporting signs of Japanese Knotweed (last months invasive) and Himalayan Balsam (August’s invasive).

This month we are keen to find out if you have seen any floating pennywort! As the river levels increase, this invasive is likely to be washed away, but it’s ability to re-colonise an area with one small fragment is astounding. If you spot this invasive then please let us know. You can find out more about it here.

Credit: GBNNSS

Credit: GBNNSS

Tackling Phosphate use in the Thame, one brook at a time.

In a joint project with Freshwater Habitats Trust, we are working with local communities along the Chalgrove Brook (also referred to as the Marlbrook in its upper reaches) to try to reduce phosphate use in homes.

Eutrophication is just one problem caused by phosphate pollution

Eutrophication is just one problem caused by phosphate pollution

Phosphates are in nearly all cleaning products and often are not removed in rural sewage treatment works. Although complete removal of phosphates would be great, this does involve added chemicals and the upgrade of hundreds of sewage treatment works- ultimately increasing your bills!

We are trying to encourage a sustainable approach by advising people to go low phosphate or phosphate free. It is so easy and it just takes a few product swaps when you’re shopping! You can find out more here.