Wild Waterways Species


Wildlife Species sighted along a Somerset Otter Group (SOG) surveyed stretch of the River Frome

Layman Assessed / BMWP Score :  114 – Good biological quality


By Us:

Brown Trout, Common Bullhead (Miller’s Thumb) [Annex II], Roach, Minnow, Chub.  [See Notes: regarding fish stocks at the foot of the page].

Annex II Species protected under Annex II of the EU directive 1992

By Others:

Dace, Perch, Pike, Stoneloach, Stickleback, Koi Carp, Common Bream, Tench, Common Carp.  *Lamprey, *European Eel.

*Environment Agency survey 10.8.2016

Molluscs & Crustaceans:

Freshwater Shrimp, Water Hoglouse, American Signal Crayfish, Duck Mussel,  [?Depressed River Mussel? P, Nb,] Pea Clam Nb, Great Pond Snail, Ear Pond Snail, Garden Banded Snail, Woodlouse, White Ramshorn Snail Nb, Wandering Pond Snail.

Nb Nationally scarce

PUK Biodiversity Action Plan species.  Other species on the Biodiversity action plan list on this stretch of river include:  Brown Trout, Hedgehog, Brown Hare, Otter, Harvest Mouse, Garden Tiger Moth, Yellowhammer, Song Thrush.


Kingfisher** Garganey**, Snipe**, Kestrel**, Dipper**, Mallard**, Mute Swan**, Lesser Black Backed Gull**, Black Headed Gull**, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Goosander, Mandarin Duck, Moorhen, Canada Goose, Pied Wagtail,  Goldfinch,  Robin, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Long Tailed Tit, House Martin, Swift, Swallow, Chaffinch, Chiff Chaff, Pheasant, Blackbird, Magpie, Wren, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Rook, Guinea Fowl, Wood Pigeon, Green Woodpecker, Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Red Kite, Raven, Buzzard, Peregrine Falcon, Sparrowhawk, Cormorant, Jay, Grey Wagtail***, Yellowhammer***, Song Thrush***, Redwing***, Fieldfare***,

Sand Martin#, Grey Shrike#

***Red List                **Amber List

Birds of Concern sighted:  BoCC 4: Red and Amber Lists


#*Otter, Brown Hare, Badger (latrines), Grey Squirrel, Hazel Dormouse (nest) ?Wood/Harvest Mouse (trail camera), Western Hedgehog (tracks, droppings)  Red Fox (scat) Mink (tracks, scat), Northern Mole (hills) Roe Deer (tracks, droppings) ?Water Vole/Brown Rat (tracks), river leech (probably Erpobdella octoculata).


Hornet Moth Nb , Grass Moth (possibly Agriphila straminella), Scarlet Tiger Moth, Garden Tiger Moth; Large Yellow Underwing, Silver Y Moth.

Nb (Nationally Scarce (Nationally Notable) B)


Common Blue, Small Blue, Meadow Brown, Marbled White, Orange Tip (m&f), Brimstone (m&f) Green Veined White, Small White, Large White, Small Heath, Comma, Peacock, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Small Copper, Speckled Wood, Large Skipper Butterflies.

Dragonflies, Damselflies:

Common Darter, Brown Hawker, Southern Hawker, Broad-bodied Chaser, Migrant, Emperor Dragonflies, Azure, Common Blue, Banded Demoiselle (M&F), Beautiful Demoiselle (M&F), White-Legged (M&F) Nb, Large Red, Blue-tailed Damselflies

Nb Nationally scarce

May_2019 015.jpgYellow May nymph – copyright Rebecca Muirhead


**Green Drake Mayfly (and nymph), Drake Mackerel Mayfly, Yellow May Mayfly (nymph), Peacock butterfly caterpillar; Dark Bush Cricket (F), Common Green Grasshopper, Meadow Grasshopper, Common Field Grasshopper, Red-Headed Cardinal Beetle, Soldier Beetle (Cantharis fusca), Common Soldier Beetle, Green Nettle Weevil, Black Oil Beetle Nb ##, Green Dock Beetle, Fourteen-Spot Ladybird, Seven-Spot Ladybird, Two-Spot Ladybird, Asian Lady Ladybird (Harlequin), Harlequin larvae, 24 Spot Ladybird, Common Wasp, Icheumonn wasps : Sarcitorius (f), Amblyteles armatorius, Ornate-tailed Digger Wasp, Ashy Mining bee, Honey bee, Tree Bumblebee, Red Tailed Bumblebee, Buff Tailed Bumblebee, White Tailed Bumblebee, Common Carder Bumble bee, Longhorn Beetle, Knot Grass Leaf Beetle (Mint Leaf Beetle?) Rose Chafer, Yellow Dung Fly, St Mark’s Fly, Crane Fly, Orange-bodied Crane Fly (tipula fascipennis), Longhorn caddisfly (Mystacides – azurea or nigra) Hornet, Pond Skater, Robin’s Pincushion (Rose Bedeguar Gall wasp), Caddis fly** lavae case, Common Cockchafer (Maybug), Yellow Meadow Ant, Thick-legged Flower beetle, Dark-edged Beefly, Earwig, Blue Shield Bug.

#An aggregation of nests of Solitary Bees on  bank near the farm.

Nb Nationally scarce

**Indicator of Clean Water

##  “Oil beetle numbers have declined in the UK, and this is linked to the loss of our wild bees and wildflowers.  Conservation action through the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (meaning urgent work needs to be done to conserve them and their habitats).” https://www.buglife.org.uk/


Common Woolf spider (males and females with egg sac), Nursery Web spider.


Yellow Water Lily, Corn Chamomile, Common Mallow, Water Crowfoot, Spiked Water Milfoil, Fools Parsley, Black Mustard, Brook Lime, Saracen’s Woundwort, Hemlock Water Dropwort, Cow Parsley, Hogweed, Giant Hogweed, Crosswort U, Dove’s Foot Cranesbill, Water Forget-me-Not, Tufted Vetch, Yellow Flag Iris, Meadow Cranesbill, Angelica, Common Comfrey, White Comfrey, Mares Tail, Stitchwort, Ground Ivy,  Bugle, Marsh Marigold, Lesser Celandine, Meadow Buttercup, Red Campion, Bird’s Eye Speedwell, White Dead Nettle, Red Dead Nettle, Red Clover, White Clover, Dandelion, Garlic Mustard, Lady’s Smock, Fools Watercress, Common Daisy, Herb Bennet, Bramble, Watermint, Ivy, Common Nettle, Shepherd’s Rod, Purple Loosestrife, Yarrow, Wild Marjoram, Hedge Woundwort, Tansy, Branched Bur-Reed, Unbranched Bur-Reed, Great Willow Herb, Himalayan Balsam, Yellow Stonecrop, Field Bindweed, Creeping Cinquefoil, Teasel, Scentless Mayweed, Bulrush (Common Reedmace), Burdock, Fat Hen, Common Reed,  Common Club-rush, Reed Canary-grass, Reed Sweet Grass, Tufted Hair Grass, Pendulous Sedge, Hard Rush,  Common Ragwort, Hemp Agrimony, Sheeps Sorrel, Spear Thistle, Creeping Thistle, Prickly Sow thistle, Welted thistle, Smooth Sow thistle, Water Figwort, Common Duckweed, Silverweed, Redshank, Gypsywort, Common Valerian, Lords & Ladies, Lady’s Bedstraw, Vervain, Harts tongue, Old Man’s Beard, Crescent cup liverwort, Water Speedwell, Watercress, Fennel Pondweed, Amphibious bistort, Water Chickweed, Trifid Bur-marigold, Bittersweet (woody nightshade), Wild Hops, Common Michaelmas Daisy, Common Mullein, Snowdrop, Chives, Common Chickweed, Shepherd’s Purse, Groundsel, Greater Periwinkle, Primrose, Field Speedwell, Ramson, White Sweet Violet, Dog Violet, Meadow Foxtail, Mistletoe, Mouse-ear Chickweed, Butterbur, False Oat grass, Hedge Mustard, Wild Cabbage, Barren Brome, Rough Meadow Grass, Yorkshire Fog, Common Winter-Cress, Common Rock Rose U, Horsetail, Goosegrass, Timothy Grass, Crow Garlic, Nipplewort, Common Poppy, Cut-leaved Cranesbill, Ox-eye Daisy, Hop Trefoil, Smooth Broom, Cocksfoot, Meadow Fescue, Ryegrass, Hybrid Fescue-Ryegrass, Greater Burdock, Field Rose, Meadowsweet, Hemlock, Corky-fruited Water Dropwort.

Grass identification not 100% certain but our best effort!

U Uncommon

Trees / Shrubs:

Norway Maple, Snowberry, Black Poplar, Blackthorn, Hawthorn, Elder, Wild Cherry, Alder, Goat Willow, Crack Willow, Weeping Willow, Common Osier, White Poplar, Ash, Field Maple, Larch, Sycamore, Horse Chestnut, Oak, Lime, Aspen, Giant Sequoia.


Scarlet Elf Cup, Pleated Inkcap, Bearded Field cap, Turkey Tail fungus, Glistening Inkcap, Clustered Brittlestem, Honey fungus, Common Jelly spot fungus, Hairy Curtain crust, Netted crust, Broadleaf Bleeding crust, St George’s mushroom.

Mosses & Lichens:

Common Water moss, Brook-side moss.

* Seen by others.

#  Seen in previous years by the owner of the land through which this stretch of the river flows

Sightings along the River Frome downstream at Freshford :

Grass snake LP (swimming), Cherry Plum.

LP Legally Protected

Note – 19th December 2018 :  The Environmental Agency have today released 6,300 fish into the Somerset River Frome (including 2,000 roach, 1,500 chub, 1,000 bream, 600 tench, 600 crucians [carp] and 600 dace).  The restocking is part of an annual programme, funded by rod licence sales.  Restocking occurs in winter because water temperatures are low which minimises any stress on the fish, giving them the best possible survival rates.  Restocking is done where numbers are low or have been depleted following a pollution incident, as happened in Frome in Spring 2016.  This is good news for the Frome Angling Association and our local Otters!

10th August 2016 :  The Environment Agency’s survey of the River Frome’s fish stocks has been carried out (three months after the Category 1 pollution incident upriver at West Woodlands) and showed a lower than expected number of fish in the river running through the Farm, (mostly roach, a few pike, common bream and dace) although they caught 1 eel and 1 lamprey.

Given the numbers of Herons, Little Egrets, Cormorants and Kingfishers roosting and possibly breeding along this stretch of the river as well as the regular Otter spraint it would appear that there is again (summer 2018) an abundant and varied fish stock, which we hope the next survey due in 2019 will confirm.

Note – 12th May 2016 :   
1,604 dead fish, including Roach, Chub, Dace, Trout, Perch, Gudgeon, Bream and Pike,  Bullhead, Minnow, Stoneloach, Sticklebacks, were recovered from the River by the Environmental Agency following the spillage of slurry from a farm in spring 2016. 

A typical water meadow carries a mixture of finer grasses and herbs including Timothy^, sweet vernal-grass, crested dog’s-tail, meadow fescue^, red clover^, sorrel^, meadow vetchling, ragged robin, ribwort plantain^, meadow buttercup^ as well as lady’s smock^, marsh marigold^ and bugle^

^  widespread along this stretch of the River Frome .


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