The aim of the Friends of Rivers is, through knowledge and corporate effort, to improve rivers and their quality so that the river environment is optimised. The river environment embraces plant, insect, bird, mammals and fish life. In particular, the intention is that migratory fish should have suitable conditions for breeding success. The major impediments to the successful breeding of migratory fish are the weirs and associated hatches which provide the necessary water drop to operate various mills.
In the past, these mills were very important in providing flour and processing flax for the local community. They have been superseded by modern mills, driven by electricity, and are now redundant in respect of their original purpose. However, they represent a possible source of renewable energy. In the future, many will be used to generate electricity and so weirs will, in many cases, require fish ladders to provide migratory trout with a satisfactory passage.
The nature of migratory fish has evolved over centuries and, were it not for recent impediments, they would breed successfully in most UK rivers.
There is now a window of opportunity to restore the majority of our rivers to this original state. Friends associated with the Brit, Asker, Mangerton and Simene rivers are committed to the task of satisfactorily resolving any conflict of interest.
Details of the physical impediments to migration and possible solutions are detailed in the sections below.