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Durham County Council Environmental Awards

We are extremely proud to be the winner of Durham County Council Environmental Awards 2018 for the work we have done on Brancepeth Beck, we were also highly commended for the work carried out on Stanley Burn and Wapping Burn. We would like to thank everyone for their support, we really couldn't do it without help from people like yourself, we just wouldn't be able to manage all this fantastic work for the River Wear, so again THANK YOU!  

Caterpillar Staff Honoured for Environmental Work

The Wear Rivers Trust has been working with the Coastal Streams Partnership, Environment Agency and Northumbrian Water, to protect the Wapping Burn, which runs through the Peterlee Business Park. Please see the following link for more details:

Local Hero Taking Action against Weardale fly tippers   

During the last 2 years, local angler Nigel Wall from Crook has been patrolling riverbanks throughout Weardale in an attempt to clean them up following persistent instances of fly tipping. During this time Nigel, with the support from a small group of helpers, has removed approximately 1600 bags of rubbish from the river. 

As a salmon angler of 30 years, Nigel said “it is deeply upsetting to see how much rubbish is being dumped in the river. The river is a beautiful amenity which should be enjoyed by everyone, however there seems to be a few people who don’t see it this way.” He added “On average, I would expect to remove at least 5 or 6 bags from the river during a one or two hour session but this is just scraping the surface.”  

Items regularly found in and on the banks of the River Wear, include builders waste, silage wrap and feed bags, bikes, sand bags, children’s toys, sofas, beds and more.  

Wear Rivers Trust senior project officer, Steve Hudson added “Fly tipping is a widespread issue throughout the whole of the catchment and we need to focus on changing people’s attitudes to their environment as it just unacceptable”.  Steve adds “The river is a fragile ecosystem which is home to amazing species including salmon, brown trout, otter and kingfisher and people need to realise that it is our collective responsibility to ensure it is looked after”.  

It is a criminal offence to dump any kind of waste without landowner permissions. This includes the dumping of garden, building, agricultural and household waste anywhere other than a waste recycling centre.  

If you see any suspicious activities, please either contact the local police on 101 or Durham County Council street team on 03000 26 1000. 


Salmon Found in Historically "Dead" River in County Durham

Salmon had not been seen in the Lumley Park Burn in living memory due to chronic industrial pollution and barriers which prevented fish from moving upstream from the main river. In 2012 the Wear Rivers Trust worked with the Environment Agency, Northumbrian Water, Durham County Council and Northumberland Rivers Trust to build fish passes that have enabled fish to reach important habitats upstream. 

The Lumley Park Burn, which begins in Hetton-le-Hole and flows down through Fencehouses and into the River Wear at Chester-Le-Street was once famous for its heavy industry which included coal mines, landfill sites and coke works which caused huge pollution problems for the river.  

Since the construction of the fish passes, electrofishing surveys have been carried out to monitor their success by improvement in fish populations. Prior to fish pass construction, there were no trout or salmon found in the burn at all. Evidence of spawning was identified three years ago and now the first juvenile salmon has been seen, it demonstrates water and habitat quality is able to sustain populations.   

The Trust will continue its work to improve fish passage, water quality and river habitats along the Lumley Park Burn thanks to funding from the Environmental Agency, Sunderland City Council New Wear Crossing Project and Parr Petroleum. 

Paul Atkinson, Project officer at Wear Rivers Trust said, ‘Water quality in the burn has improved greatly in the last few years, with major industrial and urban pollution issues being tackled. The fact that an iconic Atlantic salmon is now resident indicates that the burn is capable of sustaining a viable population. The trust will continue to restore the burns physical habitat to maximise the useful habitat for this pollution sensitive species’. 

Olivia Lamb, volunteer with the Wear Rivers Trust said, “It makes me so happy to know that salmon are finally able to re-enter Lumley Park Burn, it’s great to see that all efforts to improve the burns health is working. I enjoy being a part of WRT, it’s wonderful to watch how projects progress with time and it’s a rewarding process knowing that I’m helping to protect and restore the environment”.  

Ali Carpenter, volunteer with the Rivers Trust said, ‘I have lived in the Chester-Le-Street area all my life and the river and its feeder streams have always fascinated me. Therefore, it was a huge privilege to be present when the salmon was found. It’s a moment I shall always treasure’. 

The Wear Rivers Trust is working on a number of projects throughout County Durham and Sunderland at any one time and relies on local individuals and organisations to get involved with practical conservation tasks and monitoring.  Anyone wishing to help with future projects can call 01388 488867 or visit for more details 

Historical Newsletters

Files coming soon.


You may be aware of the EU Directive known as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), which came into effect on May 25th 2018. A summary of the main consequences can be found below.

Summary of Key GDPR Principles Relating to Individuals

The EU General Data Protection Regulation replaces previous EU Directives and UK Data Protection laws. It establishes for all individuals “the right to the protection of personal data concerning him or her”.

  • Breach Notification: WRT must notify individual within 72 hours of first having become aware of a data breach
  • Right to Access: The right for individuals to obtain from WRT confirmation as to whether or not personal data concerning them is being processed, where and for what purpose. Further, the controller shall provide a copy of the personal data, free of charge when requested
  • Right to be Forgotten: Entitles the individual to have WRT erase his/her personal data, cease further dissemination of the data, and potentially have third parties halt processing of the data 
  • Right of Rectification: Individuals are entitled to require WRT to rectify any errors in their personal data
  • Data Portability: GDPR introduces the right for a data subject to receive the personal data concerning them, which they have previously provided, in a 'commonly used and machine readable format' and have the right to transmit that data to another controller

Wear Rivers Trust (WRT)  hold email addresses for the purposes of communicating with interested parties via email and newsletters.
The information is held indefinitely until such time as an individual requests removal, or WRT deems it to be redundant. The information is not sold to or shared with third parties.
Access to the data is limited to the Trust Director and Trust Administrator and is held in a secure commercial environment.