The River Aire is 148km long flowing from its source in the Yorkshire Dales near Malham to its confluence with the River Ouse at Airmyn (‘myn’ is an old English word for ‘river mouth’) near Goole. To find maps of our river and data about it click here.
The River Aire runs through some of the most joyous and impressive countryside in the UK. Below Skipton, the valley becomes increasingly urban bringing the river to the doorstep of 100,000s of people. Then, below Castleford, the river valley is intensively used for agriculture.
It passes through an UNESCO World Heritage Site at Saltaire and a number of scheduled ancient monuments including Kirkstall Abbey. The river catchment is home to twenty two Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), four Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and two Special Protection Areas (SPAs).
You can fish for everything from native Brown Trout to stocked rainbows, Barbel and the usual range of coarse fish. There are even salmon in the lower reaches, although they cannot reach the headwaters because of old weirs too high for the salmon to jump – an issue that the DNAire project is addressing.
You can row and canoe on the river.
You can walk its banks, watching for kingfishers and dippers. You might even be lucky enough to catch sight of otters and water voles.
It’s a river to be proud of, a river to love.