Engaging the public on issues affecting the Bristol Avon

From left: Kathryn Hickey (Wessex Water), Patric Bulmer (Bristol Water),
Mark Everard (UWE) and Barbara Kasprzyk-Hordern (Bath University) at
the Viewpoints event in Keynsham.

On the evening of 23 March, Mark Everard represented the IWSN at a Viewpoints event in Keynsham. The Viewpoints project entails a series of three open public meetings with scientists connected with the Bristol Avon talking about the river system and their particular interests in it. Four brief (five minutes) presentations provided stimuli for questions and wider discussion. The Keynsham event was the last of the three events, all recorded with ‘vox pops’ collected by the Bristol Natural History Consortium.

Viewpoints is a project funded by NERC, with Bristol Natural History Consortium and Bath University the lead partners. Mark Everard was invited due to long-term interests in the river (as a researcher, angler, resident and also founding (former) director of the Bristol Avon Rivers Trust).

The four invited speakers addressed:

  • biodiversity and ecosystem service opportunity mapping around Bristol Water reservoir catchments – Patric Bulmer (Bristol Water);
  • pharmaceuticals in the environment – Barbara Kasprzyk-Hordern (Bath University) and Kathryn Hickey (Wessex Water); and
  • ‘Healthy rivers’ – how we have thought of them and the multiple dimensions needed in planning for them – Mark Everard (UWE).

The Viewpoints event in Keynsham Community Centre was well attended, with lively discussion with an audience clearly concerned and engaged with their river.