Urban river projects: Celebrating our successes (and why there’s no such thing as inevitability)

Project proposal wordcloud - Lera

Ahead of this weekend’s third biennial Urban River Conclave, co-ordinated by the Wild Trout Trust and hosted by Salford Friendly Anglers, the WTT’s most excellent Paul Gaskell has posted this thoughtful piece on his Trout in the Town blog.

Last year, he admits, he spent a lot of time drawing together an application to the Big Lottery Fund for an innovative fusion of youth angling opportunities, Trout in the Town style community river care, and the deep environmental engagement offered by fly-fishing and tenkara.

Despite the robustness of data supplied by Substance, Get Hooked on Fishing and Salford Friendly Anglers themselves, the first version of the bid hasn’t proved successful. But Paul uses this experience to make a hard-learned point:

It is really worth flagging up that for every completed project that any charity group or business can actually report on, there are many efforts that may or may not reap the rewards that they deserve.

This, actually, makes those successes (when they do come off) all the more valuable and it should always be appreciated that what might seem, in retrospect, to have been an “inevitable” success – is always in doubt and always at risk right up until the final whistle.

Any setback needs to galvanise future action   – and nothing of note would ever be achieved if people give up at the first sign of difficulty.

All this means that celebrating such not-at-all-inevitable successes will comprise a major feature of this weekend’s eagerly-awaited conclave… which promises a great line-up of motivational speakers, and almost certainly some urban fly-fishing time on the spectacularly-recovering urban River Irwell.

Click here and here for reports on previous Urban River Conclaves, and keep an eye out for Paul’s report on this year’s event in due course!

(Image: Lera)

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