Connecting Kirkstall

Reconnecting the river in Kirkstall Valley was one of our long term goals as a Trust. Its also the site of one of our first big projects as a Trust. By the mid 1800's the river was host to many weirs connected to mills and industry. These provided vital power but also blocked fish migration. Weirs create “ponds” of still water. These stop sediment flow and disrupt habitat for fish. Unable to cross them fish are vulnerable to predation and pollution. Even coarse fish species travel considerable distances within the river to find spawning opportunities.
Construction of the fish pass at St. annes mill
This was the first fish pass constructed by Bailey Construction
Baffles bring installed in the the fish pass
These baffles slow the flow of water allowing fish to swim over the weir
Many of these weirs have collapsed or been removed, such as Lower Newlay Weir. This is usually the ideal outcome for the river.

However the weirs at Saint Anne’s Mill and Burley Mill proved to be unsuitable candidates for this.

Burley Mills weir, the furthest downstream of the two weirs, is a Grade 2 listed structure and St Ann’s Mills still stands on the edge of the weir.

The Aire Rivers Trust worked with the landowners, Leeds City Council, and other stakeholders to secure both funding and support for the installation of fish passes at both sites. The designs chosen were robust, low maintenance and sympathetic to the historic nature of the sites. Trustees from the Aire Rivers Trust worked with designers Fishtek and Baileys Contracts on what would be the first of many fish pass builds.

Both fish passes were completed in 2015.

© Copyright Aire Rivers Trust 2020
The Aire Rivers Trust is a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales No: 07464227 and a Registered Charity No: 1145609
Registered Office at: 38 Morton Lane, East Morton, Keighley BD20 5RS
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