Some wonderful news:
Iona Dubienic of White Cliffs Partnership has been a busy bee working with The Wild Trout Trust, a conservation charity working to make a better world for our rivers, lakes and their wildlife, including our native trout. Flourishing wild trout populations are a sign of the health of our waterways and the land around them. The Trust offer practical advice and hands-on habitat improvement projects.
The Wild Trout Trust looked at their Trout in the Town project and assessed Our Finest Dour’s levels of achievement and activity as a community group, and awarded Our Finest Dour their Silver Level accreditation.
Click this link to view: https://www.wildtrout.org/content/trout-town
Here are a few facts:
- Not so Good (in fact, extremely concerning)
Pet flea treatments are highly toxic insecticides used on cats and dogs to kill fleas, and recent research shows they are getting into our rivers.
This is worrying for our invertebrate life in rivers, and the fish and birds that depend on them/ This was highlighted by Buglife three years ago but no regulatory action has been taken: ‘The massive over-pollution of all waterbodies with fipronil is shocking and there is an urgent need for the government to ban the use of fipronil and imidacloprid as flea treatments.”
- Brown trout have between 38 and 42 pairs of chromosomes. Humans have only 23 pairs.
- A typical female brown trout produces about 2,000 eggs per kilogram (900 eggs per pound) of body weight at spawning.
- Brown trout eggs need a constant supply of cold, clean and well oxygenated water
- The majority of trout die before their first birthday. Mortality rates in their first year of life are typically 95% or greater, falling to around 40 – 60% in subsequent years.
- Brown trout can reach the ripe old age of 20 years.
- Trout scales have growth rings, as new hard tissue is added around the edges as they grow. They can be read just like growth rings in a tree.
River Centre Steps Project
November 2020 Update – A Lee
This has, at last, been approved by the Planning Dept. and now has all the approvals in place. The building works will now go ahead and it is hoped that the project will be completed before Christmas.
River Centre Steps Project
August 2020 Update – A Lee
The aim of the project is to allow access to the river by the River Dour Centre at Buckland Bridge. This will allow school parties the White Cliffs Countryside Project, the ‘Green Gang’, and other groups, to access the river safely for ‘pond dipping’ sessions. These catch and release sessions will teach the youngsters, what lives in the river, how to care for wildlife and give them an appreciation of the environment and the world about them.
The new design, in conjunction with Dover District Council (DDC) and Hippersons, will give access to the river that is Covid-19 friendly and will not need to be wiped down. The big challenge was to make sure that the access did not impact on the tree roots at that part of the river.
Once approved the drawings will have to be cleared with the DDC Planning Dept. As soon as all of the permissions have been granted then the project should be completed within three weeks. Granted, the process is slow but with no school groups allowed with White Cliffs Countryside Partnership until things are safer, there is now more time for the project to be completed.
Our Finest Dour Project is still due to run into next year. The latest updates can be found on their face-book page at;
I am pleased to say that I have noticed a few more larger trout in the Barton Path section of the river. This will help with their breeding next year. As long as idiots, and law breakers do not fish in the river and take the fish away.
July 2020 Update – A Lee
The monitoring station at Crabble Mill has recorded the river level at 0.206m when measured at 4.15pm on Thursday 2nd July 2020. The usual range at this point is between 0.09m and 0.50m.
Work to clear debris and litter to open up a culvert that once powered a water mill in Kearsney Abbey is being undertaken by the Kearsney Parks Project. This will improve the gravel stream spawning grounds and will lead to a more robust fish population over time.
The River Dour Centre at Buckland Bridge is now up and running. It has already been used for training by the Green Gang and also by the new River Rangers. These are already walking the river, noting any problems and talking to people about the wonder of our beautiful river.
It is hopeful that the regular will be able to be organised in the not to distant future.
The yellow flag iris and and the white flowers of the water crowfoot have added a splash of colour to the river scene. In May the adult mayfly appeared as usual, they only live for a day.
The one thing to blight the river is that a number of people have been seen fishing in the Dour and taking the fish away. This is illegal as is river fishing in the closed season. The reason for the closed season is give the fish a chance to spawn and increase the fish stock. Our brown trout is different to that in other areas.
£150,000 for ‘Our Finest Dour’ project.
Heritage Lottery Fund (95k), Dover District Council, the Environment Agency, Dover Town Council, Dover Big Local, Southern Water, and Affinity Water.
Works will include:
- Convert the disused Buckland toilet block into a permanent river centre to facilitate activities and provide information
- Deliver a programme of different training opportunities for volunteers
- Establish and train a core group of around 10-15 volunteer river rangers
- Carry out restoration work to improve habitats and clear invasive weeds
- Set up a ‘livestream’ showing the wildlife in the river
- Deliver a series of education workshops with local schools and colleges
- Host a series of engagement events including a River Dour Festival
- Establish an action plan to provide long term management alongside partners.
The HLF grant has been awarded to Dover District Council and the White Cliffs Countryside Partnership, who applied for the funding. The project will be delivered with a range of key partners, including the River Dour Partnership and South East Rivers Trust.
For more information, or if you’re interested in being a river ranger, or volunteering as part of the project, please email firstname.lastname@example.org