Ribble Life Together is an ambitious project that brings together all members of the Ribble’s Catchment Based Approach partnership. The project seeks to initially develop (from May 2015 to November 2016), and then deliver (from April 2017 to November 2020) a range of activities that will significantly improve the Ribble Catchment for people and wildlife.
It uses “ecosystem services” principles to identify where in the catchment improvements are required that can be delivered through natural process providing a service to both the public and the environment, such as woodland creation to reduce flood risk or improved water quality at designated bathing waters. In addition to natural processes, the principle can be used to identify where improving access will provide the most benefit and opportunities for people to access and enjoy their riverine environment.
To identify where these services are needed, the partnership has shared a huge amount of data and evidence to allow a study to be completed to highlight specific target locations and areas. This study has also included what information is currently available about the condition of these places and aided in the identification of key focus areas: River Loud, Skirden Beck, River Hyndburn, Stock Beck, River Darwen, Bashall Brook, Sabden Brook, Boyces Brook, Park Brook, Trawden Brook, River Ribble around Settle and tribuaries of the Ribble Estuary.
The project seeks to galvanise the partnership through developing and agreeing a clear strategy and plan, with direct input from communities and stakeholders, that identifies where actions can be delivered to provide multiple benefits, not limited to any one habitat, social group, partner or objective. This will guarantee that the greatest benefit is delivered by the partnership, but also sustain the improvements made to the Ribble Catchment and ensure their continuation throughout and beyond the lifespan of this project.
The project hopes to achieve the following objectives;
- Improved water quality: reduced diffuse pollution sources including faecal matter to improve coastal bathing waters
- Improved biodiversity: increased riverine & other habitats, connectivity and re-naturalisation
- Reduced flood risk: using natural processes aid in reducing flood risk
- Recreation: improved access and information for people to access rivers and streams
- Education: increase awareness, engagement and understanding of riverine heritage
- Social: provide training, volunteering and other opportunities for all to become involved in improving and celebrating their river heritage
- Economic: increased use of the catchment for tourism & recreation, as well as working with local businesses
- Climate change: increase carbon sequestration and shading of streams
- Partnerships: demonstrate how aligning partners activities can lead to a range of multiple benefits