The River Dee has a wide variety of threats and problems that are causing declines in its wildlife and fisheries. The Welsh Dee Trust focuses its work on the practical delivery of interventions that make a difference. To do this we break our work down into targeted programmes, each with an individual vision which works towards our overall objective of restoring the brooks, rivers and streams for both wildlife and people.
Restoring River Habitat
‘Restore natural processes and connectivity of rivers and streams to improve habitat for all species’
Rivers and streams are highly variable, changing environments and no two sections of a river are ever the same. This variation provides the diversity that is necessary for the wildlife of the river to thrive. Welsh Dee Trust focuses on restoring the natural processes that generate these wide varieties of habitat. This will involve planting woodlands on the riverbank, pinning deadwood into the river, restoring floodplains and removing man-made barriers to fish migration. Through this work, we can improve the habitat and allow all river wildlife to thrive.
Water Wise Farming
‘Work with the agricultural industry to reduce the loss of pollutants into watercourses’
Farming is the largest land use within the catchment of the River Dee and the backbone of the rural community. Everyday farms are working with soil and nutrients to provide us with the food we eat. Unfortunately, these are also two of the biggest pollutants damaging the water environment.
Through our Water Wise Farming Programme, we work confidentially with busy farmers to identify new practices and investment needed to keep nutrients and soil in the areas where they benefit the farm business and out of the River Dee.
It Shouldn’t Be in the Dee
‘Create a community-led approach to eliminate sources of pollution’
Pollution is one of the major environmental problems facing the River Dee. It has many sources and pathways making it a challenging problem which we are unable to solve alone. It Shouldn’t be in the Dee will raise awareness of pollution and its damage. We will then work with these newly engaged communities to find and eliminate the sources of pollution. This may take the form of better maintenance of private sewage treatment works, labelling of clean water drains or the creation of wetlands to capture pollutants before they enter the river. Through this approach, we believe we can exponentially grow the number of people working towards a clean River Dee.
‘Releases from the Dee’s Reservoirs are done in an environmentally suitable way as possible’
The water levels of the River Dee are some of the most managed in Europe. The rate of release is regulated to reduce flooding, providing adequate levels for drinking water whilst providing opportunities for recreation. The pattern of releases can have negative effects on the wildlife of the river. Welsh Dee Trust, will identify how the flow regime is impacting wildlife and alterations which can be made with negligible impacts on other stakeholders.
A Catchment Based Approach
‘Work with organisations to reduce replication and gain the best value for money for our work’
The River Dee provides opportunities and challenges for a wide range of organisations. Each of these organisations has its own priorities and strengths. Two catchment-based partnerships help coordinate work between the various organisation’s. Welsh Dee Trust hosts the Middle Dee Partnership and is a member of the Tidal Dee partnership. This work is vital to make sure organisations are not duplicating work, different priorities are engaged and the best value for money is being achieved in managing the River Dee.