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Shropshire Rivers Hub October 2018– A-Z Shropshire Rivers!

This October the Rivers Team have been busy exploring the Cantern Brook and investigating the Mor Brook and the River Morda as part of our A-Z Shropshire rivers project. The Cantern Brook, only 3 miles long and a tributary to the River Severn is small shallow stretch of river submerged in undergrowth and trees. The Rivers Team along with keen, young and eager enthusiasts took to the Brook in search for aquatic life and to explore the river bank for mammals. There was a variety of aquatic life including an abundance of freshwater shrimp, a minnow, case cadis and variety of mayfly larvae. The abundance of these creatures is a good indication on the health of the Brook for example; freshwater shrimp are more tolerant to pollution than mayfly larvae. In addition, Cantern Brook has had previous and on-going issues of sedimentation from construction works near by, further reinforced by a chemical sample that suggested that there were moderate levels of nitrate in the water. This could be due to sediment holding nutrients and transferring them further downstream. Despite this, mammals are still making good use of this Brook with the discovery of fox footprints and an otter spraint!

Did Someone Mention Salmon?

Atlantic salmon have pulled in the crowds this October wowing passer-by’s with their frantic jumping and leaping up Shrewsbury weir. Atlantic salmon are one or the largest species of salmon and are very fast swimmers allowing them to jump up to 12 feet in the air. This makes them perfect for leaping up and over waterfalls and rapids when making their way upstream to reach spawning habitats. Atlantic salmon are an anadromous fish meaning they can live in freshwater and saltwater. With a relatively complex life history, Atlantic salmon spend two to three years in their home river before going on a one to three year journey in the North Atlantic where they grow into an adult before using olfactory (smell) cues to come back home to spawn in October and November. Unlike their Pacific cousins, Atlantic salmon do not normally die after spawning. Instead they migrate back out to the ocean to feed and recover, and if they are not eaten, they return to spawn again.

Unfortunately, Atlantic salmon are vulnerable to many threats within rivers. These include blocked access to spawning grounds, habitat degradation caused by dams and culverts, and poor marine survival. In a river ecosystem they need clean and well-connected rivers for their population to be healthy. Here at the Rivers Team we are working with partners on implementing fish passes at Mill Street, Corve, Ludlow and Ashford to increase their chances of making it upstream to spawn.

Don’t miss out on the action! Salmon will be leaping and jumping up the weir throughout October and into early November!

What Can You Do?

Along with the Cantern Brook the Rivers Team also investigated the River Morda and found two more otter spraints! - Have you seen any signs of otters?  If so please visit the following link and record your siting here:

Also, like Tim Preston, your picture could be on our next bulletin or on our social media page! We would love it if you could submit pictures of wildlife in your area or of a local river that have a personal meaning or provide memories. Please send your pictures to

Contact Us By Using The Shropshire Rivers Hub Social Media

Twitter: @LYR_Shropshire  #LYMag7 #ShropsRiversHub

Facebook:  Love your Magnificent Severn  @LYMag7

Instagram:  LYR_Shropshire  #ShropsRiverHub  #Riverwildlife


Upcoming Events:

Wednesday 22nd November 2018 the Environmental Agency will be talking about pollution: Where it comes from and what we can do to mitigate it. The event will be between 7pm -9pm and held in the Conference Room at Shropshire Wildlife Trust, Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury, SY2 6AH. Don’t miss out on the chance to get involved!