Big catch for ecologist at national awards ceremony

26 October 2016

A Council ecologist who has helped transform Cambridgeshire streams has netted the gong of Wild Trout Hero 2016 at a national award ceremony.

Rob Mungovan, who works for South Cambridgeshire District Council, hooked the top award after working for more than 20 years to conserve and improve rivers and small streams across the country.

The Wild Trout Trust’s national Hero award recognises a professional whose work has furthered the cause of wild trout conservation and management in Britain and Ireland.

Rob motivated villagers to form a village conservation group – the Friends of the River Shep – and has delivered numerous projects on the Shep, Mel, Granta, Hoffer Brook and River Cam.

He has overseen the placement of 2,140 tonnes of gravel in local streams, carried out projects to improve 5,430 metres of bankside habitats and created variety in the way local streams and rivers flow.

In addition to the work Rob carries out as part of his role for the Council he spends much of his own time helping local communities and jokes that in summertime he spends more time cutting river weed than his own lawn.

Over 100 guests attended the Wild Trout Trust evening at the Savile Club in Mayfair. The conservation awards recognise and encourage excellence in the management and conservation of wild trout habitat, celebrating the efforts, skills and ingenuity of projects carried out both by professionals and by grass roots voluntary organisations.

Rob Mungovan said: “I am a passionate trout fisherman and feel fortunate that I have been able to work on conservation projects that have had such a positive effect. Much of the early work I carried out was campaigning locally to raise awareness of the potential of the small streams in the area. After years of hard work by lots of volunteers the rivers of South Cambridgeshire now have more brown trout in them than coarse fish if you know where to look. It is a real honour to be recognised by my peers for this award. The hard work doesn’t stop here though.”

Shaun Leonard, Director of the Wild Trout Trust, said: "Rob has been a supporter of the Wild Trout Trust since its inception. He has done so much for Cambridgeshire's rivers and streams and inspired many others to look into their waters and decide to make a proper difference. Rob's passion and focus oozes out; he is the perfect Wild Trout Hero.”

Cllr Robert Turner, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s cabinet member that covers conservation, said: “Rob has done a brilliant job in the area on such a wide range of initiatives. One of the great skills he has is enthusing others to realise the potential of their streams. He has given many talks at local events and at national conferences and even takes villagers out on river walks especially to see the trout spawning on Boxing Day.”

The Wild Trout Trust’s awards are sponsored by Thames Water.