• KWVR at Haworth

  • Rodley Nature Reserve Fish Pass

    Rodley Nature Reserve Fish Pass

  • Green Ripples

  • Castleford Millenium Bridge

  • River Aire at Ferrybridge

  • Malham Cove

  • Saltaire

Category Archives: Project

‘Tis the season to be planting….

Lothersdale Tree Planters
One of Bradford City Angling Association’s tree planting work parties

Winter weather may be a good excuse to stoke the fire, contemplate the drinks cabinet closely and turn one’s back to the outdoors. However, that cold weather also causes dormancy in trees which means winter is the ideal time to get out planting, provided the ground is not too water-logged or too frozen!

Trees are increasingly recognised as being a valuable component of natural flood management – see, for instance, this blog . They intercept rain and slow it reaching the ground, even when they are bare. Their roots allow water to penetrate more deeply into the soil. Their physical presence slows flow when rivers overtop banks and their trunks act as natural filters, trapping debris that is carried along in flood water. Their roots within the soil also increase the resilience of river banks by binding them together. They provide a host of other ecosystem benefits too, such as shade for rivers during the summer, and food and nest sites for insects and birds.

The Aire valley is crying out for more trees. Giant strides have been made by the partners of the Upper Aire Project in initiating some quite large scale planting schemes towards the top end of the system. However, every little helps….

Before Christmas, at least three groups were out and about planting. Anglers are the eyes and ears on the river bank, and often true champions of river stewardship. Members of both Bradford City Angling Association  and Skipton Angling Association have been busy on the banks of the Aire where they have riparian rights, and in close partnership with the relevant riparian land owners and the Environment Agency over 1500 trees have been planted near the river at various locations with more to come. Skipton AA are also planting on the becks feeding Embsay Reservoir, with permission from Yorkshire Water.

Lotherdale 1
Lothersdale village residents planting up a track verge to intercept overland flow

Towards the top end of a major Aire tributary, the villagers of Lothersdale have also been identifying areas suitable for planting. They were one of the first recipients of a Woodland Trust Community Woodland Grant to rehabilitate the woodland in the centre of the village and along Lothersdale Beck.

Now they have planted approximately 1000 trees to link established copses, create shelter-belts and interception belts to slow the flow of water reaching the small becks. Word of mouth has spread the news and various local landowners are interested in establishing further planting on their properties.

Lotherdale 2
Planting on the Aire at Eshton Beck confluence

Where have the trees come from? Well, some have been lovingly grown on by interested folk, collecting acorns for example. The majority, however, for these small scale initiatives have come from either the Woodland Trust  or the Trust for Conservation Volunteers , in some cases facilitated by the Wild Trout Trust .



Community packs of trees in various permutations and combinations are available to groups and schools – see their websites for details.

Planting by Lothersdale village residents alongside the Pennine Way
Planting by Lothersdale village residents alongside the Pennine Way


Thanks to (Prof.) Jon Grey, a Lothersdale resident and Research and Conservation Officer for The Wild Trout Trust for this article.

Walks around Bradford’s Becks

Friends of Bradford’s Becks have just published a (FREE!) guide to a series of walks around Bradford’s Becks. The booklet contains detailed guides to several walks around the area as well as background information on the becks, the wildlife to be found, the history of the beck and how to keep our watercourses clean. You… Continue Reading

Catchment Improvement Lead – an opportunity

The Aire and Calder Catchment Partnership, which is hosted by The Aire Rivers Trust, is  advertising a role to help lead the Partnership to the next stage of our development. With funding from Defra we are now looking to issue a contract for someone to lead the initial stages of delivering our Actionable Plan and… Continue Reading

2017 – An important year for River Aire fish passage

  2017 – An important year for River Aire fish passage Work has been going on for a number of years to improve fish passage for migratory fish in the Aire below Leeds. This work has provided fish passes at Castleford, Lemonroyd, Fleet, Rothwell Country Park and Thwaite Mills. Fish passes are required on a… Continue Reading

Upper Aire Project – another award!

The team running the Upper Aire Project have picked up yet another award for this great scheme. Here is what the Environment Agency, who have devoted considerable funding to the scheme,  had to say upon hearing the announcement: A pioneering scheme that is leading the way in improving some of Yorkshire’s best countryside has won… Continue Reading

FoBB Sculpture competition voting

Friends of Bradford Beck have been running a competition for a sculpture to place over the beck and enable people to hear the hidden beck as it flows under Bradford city centre. The shortlist of four, from nine entries, has been announced and you can cast your vote and offer comments on the entries. Please… Continue Reading

Improving Eastburn Beck

The first stages of the project work to improve the river and riparian habitats along Eastburn Beck at Lyndhurst Wood, Glusburn (reported here in February) began on Wednesday 10th August. The Wild Trout Trust and the Environment Agency will be notching six of the low weirs by cutting narrow sections out of each weir crest.… Continue Reading

DNAire bid submitted

Last week, the Environment Agency submitted our DNAire bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund. This is a very important step in our desire to restore salmon to the river and re-engage the community through a £4 million river-wide project. The bid summary states: ‘Developing the Natural Aire’ is for 570,000 people in the project area.… Continue Reading

ACCP Catchment Workshops

The Aire and Calder Catchment Workshops shave started. If you represent a group or an organisation with an interest in our rivers, becks streams and their catchments, you will be very welcome to help us develop and deliver our plan for catchment-wide improvements. We are organising seven workshops, one for each of the Environment Agency’s… Continue Reading