The first step in any project is to identify opportunities. To do this we use our in-depth knowledge of the Ribble river catchment to identify areas which have the potential for improvement. Once our team have an idea for a project and a location, we use a GIS computer programme and our huge database to model the site. Plus we have to get the landowner on board, get permits, survey the sites, and more.
Data and evidence underline absolutely everything we do. Using our huge information database and GIS mapping programme we can compare data on land usage, habitat type, flood risk, potential pollution issues, rainwater flow paths, and more. This is then used to model how a woodland, wetland, or weir removal would impact the land and help to make sure project will have the maximum benefit.
For over two decades Ribble Rivers trust have been taking direct, physical action to improve rivers across Lancashire and North Yorkshire and, in the last 5 years, this work has really ramped up. There are many issues in the area but so many issues have been resolved and so much work has been achieved. Here at Ribble Rivers Trust we’re proud that we always put the environment, rivers, and wildlife first.
Our children are our future, and we’ve been working with school children in the area for decades, helping them learn more about their local rivers, the amazing wildlife they support, and how they can live a river friendly life. Families are another focus, with events, workshops, and fun family activities helping people to enjoy, discover, and learn more about the natural world around them.
Measuring success is important with any project, and our work is no different. Each physical project is monitored and monitoring typically includes invertebrate sampling, fish tracking, water quality and temperature logging, and aerial photography. Monitoring education and engagement is important too and we use surveys and feedback forms to make sure our activities are engaging, educational, and fun!
Every project needs maintenance. With hundreds of miles of rivers and streams, hundreds of acres of woodland, and dozens of wetlands, peat restoration sites, and other projects maintenance takes up a lot of time. Our dedicated Habitats Officer and our Volunteer Supervisor both spend a large part of their time caring for and maintaining our work, ensuring it remains effective and thrives.