OurCleanRiver 2024

Last year 13 groups joined the Aire Rivers Trust’s OurCleanRiver event. The highlights were clearing tons of debris at Bull Greave Beck and using the steam train in Keighley to transport rubbish and volunteers.

In 2024 we want to involve even more groups in community action to improve our river from Gargrave to Leeds and beyond. These clean-ups will remove litter and debris pollution to help boost the entire river’s health.
River clean-up events will start on Thursday, 14th March until Friday, 22nd March 2024.
This also ties in with the dates of Keep Britain Tidy Spring Clean.

This is the 3rd year we are running events bringing together community action and improvements in your local river.
The improvements are beneficial for wildlife as well as the visual appearance of the district.

How Can Your Community Group Join OurCleanRiver 2024?

Similar to last year we would love you to pick a section of river or beck local to you and organise a clean-up between the dates.

We are able to support your group with equipment, risk assessments, social media templates, and arranging the removal of the collected rubbish.

This is just one of a selection of photos and suggested wording for social media posts we have to share. We can use your logo and wording to complete the phrase.

After you have completed the cleanup, we will ask you to record your achievements and send a photo of the group with the rubbish you have collected.

Join us for River Clean Ups 2024

Aire Rivers Trust will be leading several River Clean Ups across the middle catchment. Dates and locations are available below. Please sign up as a volunteer via our My Impact system at the bottom of the page.

Date and TimePlaceOrganised byLead by
Thursday 14 March 10:00-15:00Kirkstall Goit, KirkstallAire Rivers Trust contact@aireriverstrust.org.uk
01274 061902
Gareth Muir gareth.muir@aireriverstrust.org.uk
07883 892634
Friday 15 March 10:00-15:00Buck Lane, BaildonAire Rivers Trust contact@aireriverstrust.org.uk
01274 061902
Gareth Muir gareth.muir@aireriverstrust.org.uk
07883 892634
Thurs-Fri 21-22 March 10:00-15:00Holme Beck Holmewood BD4Aire Rivers Trust contact@aireriverstrust.org.uk
01274 061902
Gareth Muir gareth.muir@aireriverstrust.org.uk
07883 892634
Thursday 28th March 10:00-15:00Fagley Beck Foston Lane BD2Aire Rivers Trust contact@aireriverstrust.org.uk
01274 061902
Gareth Muir gareth.muir@aireriverstrust.org.uk
07883 892634
Thurs-Fri 4-5 April 10:00-15:00Fagley Beck Ravenscliffe BD10Aire Rivers Trust contact@aireriverstrust.org.uk
01274 061902
Gareth Muir gareth.muir@aireriverstrust.org.uk
07883 892634
Thurs-Fri 11-12 April 10:00-15:00Bradford Beck (Poplar Rd-station) Shipley BD18Aire Rivers Trust contact@aireriverstrust.org.uk
01274 061902
Nick Milsom
nick.milsom@aireriverstrust.org.uk 07378 878857
Thursday
18 April
10:00-15:00
Keighley Worth Valley Railway, KeighleyAire Rivers Trust contact@aireriverstrust.org.uk
01274 061902
Gareth Muir gareth.muir@aireriverstrust.org.uk
07883 892634
Friday 19 April 10:00-15:00Aireworth Grove, KeighleyAire Rivers Trust contact@aireriverstrust.org.uk
01274 061902
Gareth Muir gareth.muir@aireriverstrust.org.uk
07883 892634
Thurs-Fri 25-26 April 10:00-15:00Eller Beck, SkiptonAire Rivers Trust contact@aireriverstrust.org.uk
01274 061902
Gareth Muir gareth.muir@aireriverstrust.org.uk
07883 892634

How To Get Involved

Practical Conservation update January 2024

Project Officer Gareth Muir gives us an update about what the volunteers have been up to last month. 

Tool maintenance

After returning from the Christmas and New Year break, the practical volunteers got stuck into a spot of tool maintenance. Volunteers joined staff at our office in Greengates to sort, clean, sharpen and oil the tools used by the volunteers to carry out practical environmental conservation tasks. Without these tools, we could not carry out the work, so they must be in top condition! Staff and volunteers had the (un)enviable task of going through the Trust's protective equipment (PPE), ensuring it was safe, working and effective. Thankfully, everything was ship shape and Bristol fashion!

Coppicing at Druid's Altar, St Ives, Bingley

Volunteers undertook some coppicing at Druid's Altar hazel coppice on St Ives Estate, Bingley. Coppicing is a traditional form of woodland management with roots going back hundreds if not thousands of years. Using hand tools including; loppers, bowsaws and the iconic billhook, volunteers cut hazel 'stools' to harvest 'rods' of various diameters for a range of uses. The main use was to produce hazel hedging stakes. These stakes were later used on sites within the catchment to lay hedges. In the process of producing these stakes, volunteers realised the perfect length for a stake was an 'Olivia' (our River Conservation Assistant) of 1.5 metres! Over the course of three work days, volunteers coppiced 21 stools and produced 112 stakes, some may say the stakes were...'high'.
Why not visit the National Coppicing association to find out more about this fascinating traditional craft?

National Coppice Federation - National Coppice Federation (ncfed.org.uk)

Two leaves sit in a graphic that divides text

Hedge maintenance at Trench Meadow, Baildon

The volunteers were busy trimming the holly hedgerow at Trench Meadow. A hedgerow, which in the past had been neglected was in need of some tender loving care. The volunteers provided this by cutting back the encroaching greenery onto the footpath, allowing footpath users to path through unmolested by errant pickily leaves! The volunteers also took the opportunity to remove encroaching bramble on the meadow, thus preventing it's natural succession into woodland. Trench Meadow is a Site of Special Scientific interest (SSSI) containing a variety of flora, which the Trust aims to safeguard for the future.
To find out about Trench Meadow, why not visit this interesting blog post by 'The Nature Guy' who contacted the Trust in summer 2023:

Meet your local SSSI (natureguy.blog)

Hedge laying at Ryeloaf Meadows, Bingley

Hedge-laying continues to be a firm favourite with the Trust's practical conservation volunteers. This month volunteers worked had to lay a predominantly hazel hedge at Ryeloaf Meadows, Bingley; a fantastically untouched site beneath the Bingley Relief Road. Accessed via Dowley Gap Waste centre, the site is managed by Bradford Council's Countryside and Rights of Way team with the Aire Rivers Trust carrying out environmental conservation tasks onsite on their behalf. The traditional countryside management craft of hedge laying is enjoying some what of a resurgence of late and as an organisation the Trust is keen to keep these traditional skills alive and use them to improve habitat in the catchment and beyond. If you'd like to find out more about hedge laying, why not visit the National Hedge laying Society website:

Home Page (hedgelaying.org.uk)

Willow Clearance at Ryeloaf Meadows, Bingley

Willow clearance on the riverside at Ryeloaf Meadows continues, with volunteers removing dense patches of willow near the water's edge. Large stands of willow deflect the flow of the river away from the site, which acts as a flood water overflow. The cut willow is stacked into dense brash piles, which will in time become a new habitat for invertebrates and potentially laying up spots for male otters in the summertime. The composition of the woodland at Ryeloaf Meadow is 'wet' woodland (predominantly common alder and crack willow), which is an under represented habitat in the Bradford area. Woodland management often includes thinning tree numbers and producing deadwood, so that multiple layers of habitat are present with a 'mosaic' of canopy, understory, shrub and herb layer.

Two leaves sit in a graphic that divides text

January was a busy month with a variety of tasks. The 'nature' (pardon the pun) of practical conservation dictates that the tasks performed by volunteers vary greatly. Moving ahead into the end of winter the volunteers will be continuing hedge laying, tree planting and gearing up to the river clean ups, once the flood waters have subsided.

Two leaves sit in a graphic that divides text

How To Get Involved

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