Keeping Rivers Cool is a project which has been ongoing since its initial launch in 2011 and hopes to protect our watercourses from the predicted effects of future climate change; previously funded by the Environment Agency, United Utilities and SITA, the Ribble Trust are continuing to focus on this project as it is considered to be incredibly important to our rivers and habitats.
Over time it is predicted that water temperatures will rise which could have a catastrophic impact on our watercourses and the organisms that inhabit them. Warmer water holds less oxygen than cool water which could effectively suffocate the inhabitants of the river, it has also been shown that warmer water supports more parasites and diseases which lowers the immune systems of fish. Another concern is that if the number fish and invertebrates within the river drops then the birds and mammals relying on them as a source of food will drop which would have a further negative impact on biodiversity.
Within the Keeping the Ribble Cool project our main aim has been to plant trees, especially in areas adjacent to watercourses; these trees will shade the water providing cool pockets of water for fish and invertebrates and prevent evaporation from the river. Trees also intercept pollution and sediment before it reaches the river, stabilise bankings to prevent erosion, provide a brilliant habitat for many creatures and sequester and store carbon.