Friends of Bradford Beck

Friends of Bradford’s Becks (FoBB) was one of the first local groups we supported.  This extremely active group works to improve what was one of Bradford’s most hidden and neglected becks, Bradford Beck, and its tributaries.  They can be extremely proud of reviving it and bringing it to prominence through a series of engaging and creative actions.

Friends of Bradford’s Beck Amongst run regular series of litter picks and Becknics (Picnic on the Beck).   FoBB also run an Invasive Species Group, who have mapped the extent of Japanese Knotweed on the Beck and are working to eliminate it.  Please visit their events page to find about upcoming events.

FoBB have always been keen to raise the profile Bradford Beck.  Recent high profile actions have included a photography competition and a series of plaques marking the course of the Beck as it flows, often unknown and un-noticed, under the city centre with poetry. The City Centre Plaques project generated a huge amount of interest with poetry prize being awarded to Jane Callaghan for her wonderful evocation of the course of the Beck from headwaters above Clayton to the confluence with the River Aire at Shipley:

On westerly moors
Rise Chellow, Pinch, Pitty

Energy once harnessed
To power this wool city

Goit and beck in parallel
Power in, waste out

Spectral Saxon elders
Recall speckled trout

Disregarded water
Here barrel-vault encased

In pure flow below Sunbridge
Fish once chased

Culverted, covered
Lost underground, hidden

The clear sparkling beck
Degraded to a midden

Fouled by industry detritus
Long ago so clean

Under our city lies
A misused, abused stream

Though clean again
The beck stays always dark

Water sighs, eddies, races
Unseen, unremarked

So small a waterway
For Bradford dale drained

Beck fed the canal basin
Its miasma ill-famed

Skip across the broad ford
-Bradford is named