who we are

ribble rivers trust

Ribble Rivers Trust is a Lancashire based charity working to improve the River Ribble and all its tributaries for both people and wildlife.  Our team are in Clitheroe, a historic ancient market town at the heart of the Ribble Valley. For over 20 years we have been working with the people who live in this area as well as dozens of partner organisations to deliver river improvements across the entire Ribble catchment.

In the past, industrial and agricultural pollution as well as water abstraction for drinking water and poor sewage treatment have caused severe habitat damage to the Ribble catchment. Because of the extent of this the wildlife our rivers support are under threat. The Trust was established to improve the water environments of the catchment. Our goal is to restore and protect the river to make sure current and future generations can enjoy the beauty of its wildlife and fauna.

The Trust was formed by back in 1998 by a group of six volunteers. Every one of them was motivated by a passion for wildlife, angling, and the outdoor life. Together, they realized that rivers were at the core of every ecosystem. So, they decided to take the lead with river restoration and conservation projects.

Just one year later we obtained Charitable Status. However, for several years we delivered all of our physical improvement projects on a purely voluntary basis.

Our team

Today, we have an amazing team of employees. Each has a vast skills and knowledge base covering a huge range of specialist subjects, from engineering design to botany and key stage 2 education to farming life. As a result of these unique skills we are capable of delivering projects which are as impressive, varied, and unique as our specialist skill areas.

Our staff work in sub teams which each cover a specific part of our work; data and evidence, land management, people and learning, river conservation, and core services. Within each team thee is usually a focus on a number of our key activities. However, we work really closely as a team, so there is a lot of overlap!

A photo to support the About Ribble Rivers Trust page content, which shows the team on a well deserved night out!

As a charity we our governance is overseen by a board of trustees. Some of these are the original founders of the Trust, and others have joined us as the Trust has grown. Each Trustee brings unique skills. Their skills include an ex-justice of the peace, an accounting expert, a pioneer of further education, and a business development specialist. As a result, they’re well qualified to help with our governance and decision making. They’re always on hand to provide guidance and advice. Plus, they make sure that everything we do is relevant and meets our charitable aims.

We are proud to have become a charity that visitors and local people alike are proud to support. Thanks to our hard work and sucess we’re a valuable partner in delivering river improvement projects with many organisations, including Government Agencies, Local Authorities and Non-Governmental Organisations.  We are committed to and excited for the future and the improvements we can help deliver.

About the Ribble Rivers Trust's catchment, which includes the Douglas catchment which we have recently taken responsibility for despite it having always been a part of our catchment,

The River Ribble and its catchment

What is a catchment?

A river catchment, also known as a drainage basin, is an area of land from which all water flows into a single river system. It is essentially the geographical area that surrounds a river and all its tributaries, including the land, hills, mountains, and other features that drain into it.

The Ribble river catchment covers an area of over 750 square miles and contains more than 3479 miles (5,600 kilometers) of watercourses. As well as the Ribble we look after the Calder, Hodder, Darwen, and Douglas sub-catchment. This means that we not only look after all these rivers, but all the rivers, streams, and becks that flow into them, as well as all the land that surrounds these rivers and streams! You can explore our website to discover more about our catchment.

Across this area is a really diverse and varied types of habitats. From farmland, to woodland, to cities and industrial areas. Because of this variety in habitat there is huge variety of fish, mammals and invertebrates that call this area their home.

Where does our funding come from?

Unlike many other conservation charities, we get no government funding, so we rely entirely on donations and grants. This means that we spend a huge amount of time collecting data, identifying opportunities, and planning projects. Once we have completed this stage, we start to write bid and funding applications. As you can imagine, this takes a huge amount of time, with larger projects taking months to plan and apply for.

These applications can lead to amazing multi-million-pound projects; or they can lead to nothing. Of course, as a registered charity, we work to the Charity Commission Guidelines, which means we don’t make a profit. Everything we do, and all the money we have, goes straight into improving our rivers.

You can help by making a donation here.

The legal bit!

Charity number: 1070672
Company number: 3498691
Entrust number:
The Ribble Rivers Trust is the operating name of the Ribble Catchment Conservation Trust Ltd.
Registered address: Ribble Rivers Trust, c/o Hanson Cement, Ribblesdale Works, Clitheroe, Lancashire, BB7 4QF