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Past campaigning & planning

A key part of the work of Friends of the Frome is challenging and collaborating with those involved with the river – from politicians, to national bodies, to other local organisations.

We've done plenty of that over the years, here are just a few examples.

2024 – Dicussions with our new MP

In March 2024, we were happy to again meet with a local politician. This time Lib Dem MP Sarah Dyke. Committee members met her, and representatives from Frome Families for the Future, for a stroll along the water and discussed the health of the river and our ambitions to improve it.

2021 – Our MP supports anti-pollution bill

In 2021 a bill, tabled by Philip Dunne, the Conservative chair of the environmental audit committee, sought to place a duty on water companies to ensure untreated sewage is not

discharged into rivers and inland waterways. Ahead of the voting we met with our MP at the time, David Warbuton who told us the following.

Left to right: Sue Everett, committee member & ecologist, Mike Bull, chairman, and David Warburton, MP

“I can certainly assure you that, when the Bill returns to the House of Commons for its second reading in January, I will be giving it my full support.

“Protecting our rivers and waterways is an issue of huge importance to our communities in Somerset and it’s always been of critical interest to me to address improvements to the maintenance of our waterways and also enhance flood prevention and dredging. “… must thank you, along with the Friends of the Somerset River Frome group, for the crucial work that you do for the town and its wider environment. And I am delighted that, largely thanks to your efforts, discharges into the river are now being monitored.”

Sadly David Warburton consistently went on to vote against improved sewerage and enforcement against polluting organisations.

2020 – Frome Town Council unanimously adopt our river strategy

Ongoing environmental decline and the climate crisis can make caring for our river seem an overwhelming job – where do we even begin? That’s where a strategy comes in. It’s a comprehensive plan that sets out our goals, and what we’re going to do to reach them. FORFs first river strategy was published in 2012. 8 years later with new developments on the horizon (like Saxonvale, Caxton Road and, possibly, Selwood Garden Village) we decided a revised and updated strategy was needed.

The new strategy was developed by a sub-group of FORF with expertise in ecology, hydrology, planning and civil engineering. It took into account proposals for protecting and improving the river environment as well as considering better public access to the river.

The result? One new vision. 5 major aims. 31 projects.

As Frome grows, its River should be conserved as a clean, healthy, nature-rich, free-flowing river system which provides a natural habitat for a diversity of life and an accessible green corridor which connects people to nature. –– the vision for the 2020 Friends of the River Frome strategy

The strategy was unveiled in May 2020 at our Annual General Meeting, with all friends of the river invited to comment, along with local groups. After this members of the committee did more revising before presenting the strategy to Frome Town Council.

Frome Town Council unanimously adopted the new River Strategy at its meeting on 24 June 2020. This means it’s now a material consideration in planning decisions, or to put it simply, the river cannot be forgotten.

Read the river strategy

2012 – a new design for the river in the town centre

The banks of the river in the town centre have been shaped so they are incredibly steep. We suspect this was done to prevent flooding but in fact there are many other (better) ways to do this – ways that look better, are better for wildlife and don't restrict access to the river. Our hydrologist Bob helped develop new ideas in 2012 to dramatically improve the river in the town centre. Sadly due to the cost, and reluctance of land owners and managers, the design remains just that for now.

You can see the design ideas by downloading the PDF below.

Redesigning the river in town
Download PDF • 902KB


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