It has been another busy year for the Trust, with our work being focused in the UK, the majority of activities in the Midlands, North East and in Devon. Our historic interests in water resources, minewater and contaminated land remediation being at the forefront of our endeavour. The work the Trust has carried out on methodologies and materials to develop and improve pollution sequestration materials has seen the use of our recently created materials science facility demonstrate its value. The Trust’s educational function has begun a period of reassessment with work on curriculum validity and the development of new material.
The Trust has begun developing its links with the universities within Birmingham and the West Midlands as well as strengthening those with some of our traditional academic research partners, including aspects of ecological research into inland salt marsh and saline intrusion into fresh water environments.
Clean Rivers Trust continues its researches into minewater remediation and the sustainability of possible uses that might be utilised to contribute to the long-term remedial costs. Cost benefit being a major area of concern regarding the future of treatment of post mineral exploitation pollution that might be require to be carried out for the foreseeable future.
The Trust has pioneered the use of minewater as an energy resource for over 20 years and has now been taken seriously with projects coming together in Scotland, Northumberland, the Midlands and in the South West. The correct methods of working though are always an issue to ensure the systems work for the long-term and do not fail after a short term. This can be forgotten by researchers looking to speed up their work as they are under pressure by those sponsoring their research. The Trust engages those working in this area to encourage that correct protocols and methodologies are carried through.
The commercial work carried out by the Trust has looked at minewater generally and the production of materials for its treatment. Research has also involved agricultural and water treatment sourced phosphates. Research into closed historic landfill sites and their legacies and future integrity have also been carried out.
We have been developing the awareness of wetland carbon sequestration in the UK. The Trust has outlined a proposal to develop a large network of wet habitats that might remove a large proportion of the carbon produced by the Birmingham/Black Country conurbation. The bringing together local authorities, mineral producers, land owners and conservation groups is under way and though progress is slow the general reaction is very supportive.
The Trust continues to work with the Waingroves Community Woodland Trust and this has brought our linking into other aspects of the Lower Derwent Catchment: the Bottle Brook, acid tar pits, minewater treatment works at A Winning and groundwater loss. All these aspects are good demonstration activities for the organisation.
The Library has continued to grow with additions covering areas of flora, geology and hydrogeological issues. It has also begun developing an indexed archive that covers all available online reports from agencies of government regarding water. This is a major research operation as much information generated is not publicised. The amount of information that is generated is huge but almost instantly lost so bringing it together is an added resource.
The Trust has been asked to involve itself in several issues by the Environmnt Agency and at the time of writing this Annual Report the process of prioritisation is underway.