• 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: Uncategorised

More weirs made swimmable!

Aire Rivers Trust has agreed to fund work to improve fish passage and reinstate connectivity on several small to medium-sized weirs on tributaries between Bingley and Malham. The work is being coordinated by Professor Jonny Grey, Research & Conservation Officer for the Wild Trout Trust, in partnership with the Environment Agency and various other organisations and land-owners.

Ideally, these redundant weirs would be removed completely to reinstate a more natural channel form and flow of water, plus transport of material (cobbles / gravel) downstream, and reduce flood risk. However, other surrounding infrastructure that potentially could be affected by complete removal requires some thought. The proposed solution at each weir varies slightly because of the differing nature of each beck and immediate environs. Most will be ‘notched’ in some format, i.e. the crest of the weir will be lowered in a specific location to create a focus of flow during low flow conditions.

Eastburn Beck has been a particular focus for related work (see blog post, here). The last in a series of privately owned weirs just below Glusburn Bridge was notched in May. Jonny noted that there were trout fry in abundance during the works – a good sign of the population bouncing back from the previous year’s unprecedented flooding that effectively scoured out all the eggs and juveniles. The weir owner was delighted! The notch will allow them better access both up and downstream, and also reduce the amount of stagnant water and silted sediment upstream in the formerly impounded section.

Image (1&2): Eastburn Beck weir, pre and post notching

Kirkby Beck is much smaller than Eastburn, and much higher in the Aire catchment at Hanlith. The weir is less than 10m upstream from the confluence and hence is an immediate obstruction on the system. The local farmer agreed to a notch and several hundred metres of fencing to prevent livestock access from degrading the beck banks, thereby improving the habitat at the land water interface for birds, mammals, insects and plants, as well as fish. The work was carried out in May when the beck had all but dried up! The aquatic organisms living in such ephemeral streams have evolved to cope with occasional dry periods in all sorts of ways; with a notched weir, now the fish can recolonise more easily after having migrated downstream to avoid the low flows.

Turbines at Chapel Haddlesey and Knottingley

Two hydros and fish passes are under construction on the lower Aire. Chapel Haddlesey The turbines have already been installed and the baffles for the fish pass will be delivered in early June 2017. The fish pass and the two Archimedes Screws are expected to be in use by the end of June. Knottingley The… Continue Reading

A Place for SUDS

Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) are much talked about these days, but  what are they and what is the point of them? Sustainable drainage mimics natural processes and reduces flooding by managing rainfall close to its source and wherever possible at, or near the surface. By building in permeable paving, channels, green roofs, swales, soakaways… Continue Reading

Legal challenge to river basin planning

The river basin planning process is to be subject to a Judicial Review, threatening the forthcoming publication of the EA’s River Basin Management Plans. None of the sites referred to are in our catchments, although a couple are in Yorkshire and the action has no immediate impact for ourselves, however it might increase pressure on… Continue Reading

Environmental Conservation Apprenticeships

A fabulous opportunity to gain a Level 2 qualification as an Environmental Conservation Apprentice has just opened up. These are available throughout Yorkshire. Futureworks (Yorkshire) are working together with the Environment Agency and Bishop Burton College to offer opportunities for individuals to work towards a L2 Environmental Conservation Apprenticeship Details are in the attached Environmental… Continue Reading