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Hello from the new Secretary

For those of you not at our recent AGM in East Stoke, I wanted to take the opportunity to introduce myself as your new secretariat. My name is Olivia Durkin and I am the Land and Fisheries Officer representing Westcountry Rivers Trust in Dorset. Some of you may already be aware of the work of the Westcountry Rivers Trust in Devon and Cornwall, however we will be increasing our presence in the Dorset area in the future.

Most of the projects will involve Habitat Walkover surveys to create a baseline map in which to base management decisions. So it is my job, and as the name suggests, to literally walk the rivers of Dorset (Frome, Piddle, Char, Brit, Asker and Wey) gathering information on salmon habitat, land use and biodiversity. It’s a hard life! We are also working hard to improve fish and eel migration, so we hope to see a few more fish pass installations in the coming years.

In order to carry out these surveys, the first stage in planning is to gain permission from the landowner to conduct the walkover. Normal protocol is to post letters, conduct phone calls and visit the properties. This can be a very time consuming process, so if you can help in anyway, or are a riparian owner, please contact me at Olivia@wrt.org.uk or 01579 372156. No one knows the river like its fishermen, so I would love to hear from you. I will be conducting surveys all summer and into autumn.

I very much look forward to meeting more of you soon!

Olivia