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The lost river

Working with Bristol Avon River’s Trust, we re-discovered a river that’s been missing since the 50s. Because of our efforts, we’re keeping an eye out for a whole host of creatures that haven’t been in the area since the river’s disappearance.

Some of the creatures we’re hoping will return include salmon, trout, carp and pike.

an image of the river chew

What we've achieved so far...

  • We restored a nearly 1/2km stretch of the River Chew that had been lost since Chew Valley Reservoir was built in the 1950s.
  • This will improve the river for wildlife.
  • We will monitor the river and things that live in it to ensure we are seeing the improvements in biodiversity we expect

What is it?

When a section of the River Chew was cut off in 1956, a large part of it completely lost it's supply leading it to dry up entirely. This meant that aquatic creatures, who had been there since the Ice Age, were driven out and haven't been seen in the area for 70 years. As part of our work with Bristol Avon Rivers Trust, we redirected the supply which now means we're hoping to see the return of a huge amount of creatures which will also help the otters, kingfishers, and barn owls already hunting in the area.

Why we do it?

We think that a happy natural enviornment makes for a happy community. The more we see our landscapes flourish and thrive, the more proud we feel of the place we live - and that's a big part of our aim. We know that in South West, we have huge amounts of stunning scenery and wild places, by improving the habitats around us we welcome more and previously unseen speicies to our enviornment. Interestingly - it also improves the long term quality of our water.

Public value commitments

Education on the value of water and link to wider sustainability issues

Mentoring and employment for less privileged young people

Reduced public consumption of resources through partnership

Research and innovation related to water use and societal wellbeing

Protecting & enhancing our natural environment

Additional support to customers most in need

Reduced consumption of single use plastic

Improved physical and mental wellbeing

Shaping policy and regional strategy in relation to water use

Reducing the social and environmental impact of our roadworks

Our partners