The idea was to produce a film of the Witham catchment showing groups and locals’ opinions of the river and highlighting issues as well as wildlife. As part of the Catchment Based Approach, funded by DEFRA, the Lincolnshire Rivers Trust host the Witham Partnership, which is trying to protect, enhance and restore the catchment.
Upper Reaches: Grantham
Firstly I joined the Grantham Rivercare Group who had organised a clear up day taking rubbish out of the river, it was fantastic to see locals so interested in their river and I wish more rivers had groups like this.
Duck passes over brown trout
Not wanting to leave the wildlife out i was pleased to find a few fish to film in what was quite a urban setting.
Dace, Chub, Roach and Brown Trout!
Jake with a male and female
White clawed crayfish are critically threatened
I've been coming to the Witham for years and didn't even know these little guys were in it (lots of water voles too!) which is partly why the trust wanted me to make this film, to show of its wildlife as well as interviewing locals and groups on their views of the river.
Middle Reaches: Lincoln
The Brayford Pool has plenty below the surface
After interviewing the Environment Agency, Sea Cadets and the leader of Lincoln City Council, I went on to film some of Lincoln's wildlife. The Brayford Pool is an area often over looked and I even had a member of the public say the classic line "There's nothing in there”. Well I hope he sees this blog, because we found a massive abundance of roach, perch, rudd and a hungry pike.
Lauren Tewson the Director of LRT and members of the angling match at Tattershall
I also caught the end of an angling match near Tattershall Bridge, plenty of fish were caught including a large tench, and a good mixture of bream, perch, dace and roach.
Lower Reaches: Boston
Kingfisher looking for a meal
Bitten off more then it can chew
Because they're effective hunters they're not too popular with anglers.
The mudflats provide great feeding for waders
The end of my journey brought me to the mudflats were the Witham goes into the Haven and that empties into the Wash. It’s incredible to see a river change as you go through its reaches and I would recommend anyone to do it in order to see a variety of wildlife and habitats. The finished film will be out before the end of the year and online for everyone to see.
BBC Wildlife Local Patch ReporterJack Perks
Facebook: Jack Perks Photography