About Us

Ribble Catchment Map - towns and counties (crop)The Trust was formed back in 1997 in an attempt to restore the Ribble and the surrounding flora and wildlife to its former glory. Over the years, industrial and agricultural pollution as well as water abstraction and inadequate sewage treatment have caused severe habitat damage to the Ribble and its tributaries, to such an extent that the wildlife supported by the river has been put under threat. In recent years, water quality in our urban rivers such as the Calder and Darwen has improved, but the smaller streams of the Ribble and Hodder have deteriorated – the intensity of modern agriculture being the main source of the problem. Diffuse pollution is particularly damaging to small streams, as even small amounts of pesticides and herbicides can greatly harm wildlife. It is our mission to protect and enhance the water environments of the Ribble catchment for the benefit of current and future generations.

Our work extends over a catchment of 571 square miles, the majority of which is concentrated on the smaller tributaries and feeder streams as these are the “arteries” of a river and are much more vulnerable to pollution and physical damage. If these are healthy, the main rivers will be healthy. However this is no small task as there are a significant number of small tributaries, and very few people realise just how many there are. The map above shows what the Trust considers to be important tributaries, all of which support various invertebrates, fish, birds and mammal species.

The Trust Team:


Jack Spees- Trust Director

IMG_6844Jack started at the Ribble River Trust in 2008 as the Fisheries Scientist before being made Trust Director in 2010. Jack now oversees the work undertaken by the Trust and the team as well as providing a wealth of information on all aspects of the river environment.

Catherine Jaggs- Office and Publicity Manager

IMG_5248Catherine joined the Trust in 2010 and now manages the office, the Trust’s finances and our funding applications. This is as well as making sure that we publicise the improvements we have made by creating our newsletters, designing publications and managing our social media accounts.

Harvey Hamilton-Thorpe – Ribble Life Together Programme Manager

Mike Forty- Catchment Science Coordinator for Ribble Life Together

Mike joined Ribble River Trust in 2012 to delivery monitoring under the Catchment Restoration Funded projects, and has since worked on a number of projects, predominately focused on monitoring and investigation aspects.  Mike now leads on the Trusts’s catchment science strategy, and coordinating with other partners delivering catchment science projects.

Neil Ashworth- Education Assistant

credit www.clearwaterphotography.co.uk (2)Neil joined in 2013 to help run the Rivers in the Classroom project as part of the URES project in Burnley, and is now developing an initiative to run fishing lessons in schools as well as helping to develop further educational activities that can be linked into school curriculums.

Paul Peters – River Monitoring Officer

IMG_5244Paul volunteered for the Trust in 2013 and then joined up full time as our Fisheries Scientist. Having delivered the annual monitoring programme for 2 years, Paul now works on a range of projects assessing and collecting a wide range of data and evidence, as well as assisting with educational activities such as the River in the Classroom project.

Adam Walmsley- Captial Work Development Officer for Ribble Life Together

IMG_5242Adam started as a volunteer in 2008 and in 2011 he completed his Master Dissertation with the Trust. Adam then joined the team as the Lancashire INNS project officer in 2011 before taking on capital works projects.

Sarah Bolton- Farm Training Advisor for Ribble Life Together

IMG_5254Sarah (a local farmer) joined Ribble Rivers Trust in autumn of 2012 to increase the delivery of projects with farmers. These projects include training, engagement and physical improvements to rivers and farm yards which will be beneficial to both the environment and farmers.

Richard Atton- Volunteer Supervisor

IMG_5257Richard joined us in 2010; having worked for Natural England for a number of years, he now works part-time for the Trust delivering “on the ground improvements” with our volunteers across the catchment throughout the year.

Jonny Walker – Ribble Life Together Volunteer Supervisor

Jonny joined us from the National Trust in the summer of 2017, and leads our day to day river improvement projects with Volunteers.

John Milne- Contracts Manager

???????????????????????????????John started at the Trust in 2012 in a part-time capacity. Thanks to his background in both construction and ecology he became full time in 2013 and now helps to plan manage the wide range of engineering projects that our Trust delivers.

Ceri Katz- Agricultural Project Officer

IMG_5250Ceri works delivers of a range of agricultural projects for the Ribble Rivers Trust; drawing on her background in agriculture and upland peat restoration Ceri helps farmers make improvements to the landscape which benefit the ecology of the area whilst being compatible with the farm business.

Charlotte Ireland- Project Administration Officer

Charlotte joined the Ribble Rivers Trust in 2015 in order to assist the management staff and fulfil the additional administrative duties required as part of the Ribble Life Together Project including encouraging volunteer participation, promoting the Trust at events and assisting with monitoring.

Adam Wheeler – Fisheries Monitoring Officer

Ellie Brown- GIS Data and Evidence Officer

Emily Bateman- Education Officer

Emily joined the Trust in 2016 as part of the Ribble Life Together project to take the Rivers in the Classroom education programme into schools. She is also developing a series of circular walks and getting colleges and other community groups out to enjoy, learn about and protect their rivers. Emily is a qualified primary teacher with previous experience of working in environmental education and freshwater scientific research.

Matt Powell- Farm Advisor

Michelle Tierney- Apprentice


The trust is a registered charity and has 8 dedicated trustees, each possessing valued experience and skills that they voluntarily provide to the Trust, ranging from business and project management, to accountancy and water chemistry.
Read more about our trustees

Charity number: 1070672
Company number:3498691
The Ribble Rivers Trust is the trading name of the Ribble Catchment Conservation Trust Ltd.