Friends of Rivers is the result of one person's dream of salmon and sea-trout once more finding
their way up the River Asker, to Loders, near Bridport, Dorset, UK.
That person was
It has its origins in the early 2,000's when John began to investigate what might be done to facilitate
the migration of fish through the various barriers on the Asker.
Below is a timeline of the major milestones in the life of Friends of Rivers and the
development of its associations with other agencies/associations from its inception up to the present.
Over time this was extended to include
the whole of the Brit/Asker River system, from where it meets the sea at West Bay up to the sources
of its constituent streams.
John Hughes begins his quest for removal barriers on the Asker
2004 - May
John Hughes commissions Greg Armstrong, National Fish Pass Officer to come up
with a design for a fish pass at Loders Steps
2005 - Dec
Alternative design for series of pools besides Loders Steps rejected by Environment
2006 - May
First of fact finding River Walks organised by John Wreford. These continued until
2008 - Aug
Early meetings of core team investigate setting up a charity in order to raise funds to
tackle the main barriers in a systematic way;
the barriers identified as Palmers
Brewery, Jessop's Flood Defence Weir and Gundry's Weir
John Hughes subsequently makes contact with Richard Slocock and Charles Dutton
of Frome, Piddle & West Dorset Fisheries Association
2009 - Jan
Charles Dutton joins Friends of Rivers
2009 - Feb
John Hughes asks Geoff May to take over Chair.
2009 - Apr
Site meeting at Jessops with Roger Genge - first substantive contact with
2010 - Mar
"Artisan" fish pass installed at Jessop's thanks to determined efforts of Roger
Genge to overcome lack of funding
Charles Dutton secures funding from West country Rivers Trust to install fish pass at
2011 - Aug
Fish pass installed at Palmer's Brewery
2012 - Apr
FoR Flyfishers set up. This is a fishing club set up under the aegis of FoR.
2012 - Jul
Geoff May and Charles Dutton meet Nick Gupta and Jim Flory of the Environment
This leads to the establishment of a Programme Board to oversee the
systematic removal of barriers on the Brit & asker and Frome & Piddle.
form Westcountry Rivers Trust joins Programme Board
2013 - Aug
Westcountry Rivers Trust complete works to prevent silting at Pymore fish pass
under supervision of Olivia Durkin
2014 - Sept
Fish pass installed at Gundry's Weir