The mission of the Wear Rivers Trust is to conserve, protect, rehabilitate and improve the landscape and watercourses of the whole River Wear catchment, from the watershed to the estuarine and adjacent coastal areas, through involving individuals, local communities, government agencies
and public bodies with proactive improvement works and monitoring and by increasing awareness and understanding of the environmental factors that influence the river and its associated wildlife, whilst helping to promote the river as a recreational feature for the enjoyment of all.
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The Trust is a member of The Rivers Trust (formerly The Association of River Trusts) and works with the local community throughout the catchment of the Wear from the source in Upper Weardale to the coast to conserve, protect, restore and improve the rivers and streams of the catchment.
One of the key aims is to raise awareness of the value of the River Wear, including its flora, fauna, social and economic benefits, and to help people understand the need for conservation and restoration, as well as to promote exploration and enjoyment of this precious resource.
Peter Nailon has worked with the Trust since its creation, becoming full-time director in August 2012. He attended the London School of Economics 1977-1981, then spent 2 years working on farms in Australia. On returning to the UK he worked in Logistics until 2006 when he moved into the environmental sector. He managed a dry stone walling apprenticeship scheme before moving on to Lantra where he was project manager for the LandSkills North East agriculture and forestry training, reporting to ONE North East under the Rural Development Programme for England 2008-2012.
Steve joined the Trust as the first full time project officer in 2010 to assist with project development, fund raising and practical delivery. He has since developed an in depth understanding of the catchment and experience delivering practical projects including nature-like fish passage improvements, farm advice, river habitat restoration, natural flood management, community engagement and electro-fishing data collection and analysis. His passion for environmental conservation began in Cornwall when most of his free time as a child was spent fishing on the Bude canal. Steve has degrees in sustainable river basin management and environmental resource management.
Lucy joined the Trust in April 2015 on a part-time basis to work with on our educational projects including Mayfly in the Classroom and river-based field trips. She also co-ordinates our Riverfly monitoring network. Lucy has degrees in zoology and ecology and has conducted research into duck population with Newcastle University and The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust. She also studied otter habitat use with Aberdeen University. She has a broad conservation background having worked for a variety of wildlife and conservation organisations including Natural England, the RSPB and most recently the Durham Biodiversity Partnership.
Paul joined the Trust in Setpember 2016, working primarily on river restoration projects throughout the catchment. Paul has degrees in Environmental Biology and Environmental Management and has a particular interest in freshwater ecology. Paul has previously worked for the Environment Agency and Tyne Rivers Trust and has a passion for improving rivers for people and wildlife.
Kirstie has worked for the Trust since June 2017 in the capacity of Office and Business Development Manager. She has a strong financial background working as a Financial Controller for a PLC in the Nuclear sector for 10 years then more recently running her own business. She is a qualified Accounting Technician as well as having management qualifications. Outside of work Kirstie enjoys the outdoors and tending to her horses.
Martin joined the Trust in September 2017 to work primarily on the EU Intereg Topsoil Project. Having spent his working life in I.T. Martin decided in 2012 to change career and pursue a degree in Geology (UCC), followed by a MSc in Hydrogeology and Water Management (Newcastle University). Martin's primary interests are Hydrogeological Modelling, Mine Water Remediation & Fracture Flow Mechanics.
Helen joined the Trust in February 2019 as the part time Office Administrator. She has a strong secretarial background of knowledge and experience in office procedures and protocols which will aid and enable the Trust office to run efficiently.
David is our Volunteer Coordinator, he joined the Trust in January 2019, he works on the practical delivery of projects, organising volunteer work parties to carry out valuable habitat restoration work. David is passionate about volunteering, having previously worked as a volunteer coordinator on a National Nature Reserve in Shropshire and spent many years a volunteer himself. David has a background in bird conservation and practical habitat management, with degrees in Marine and Freshwater Biology and Theology.