An exciting river improvement scheme on Hyndburn Brook between Accrington and Great Harwood will help migrating salmon, trout and eels bypass a historic weir.

It will allow them to reach habitat in Hyndburn Brook inaccessible since at least 1844 when the weir supplied water for the Oakenshaw Printworks. A specially designed channel will be constructed to bypass the weir, transforming 1.3 kilometres of river. The channel will be complemented by education projects in local schools and 1.24 hectares of new woodland, to be planted by volunteers later this year.

Hyndburn Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Education, Leisure and Arts, Cllr Ken Moss, said:

“In Hyndburn our rivers, woodlands and public spaces are often overlooked, yet they’re fantastic! This project will make a huge difference at Oakenshaw Weir, and it will be great to see the work the schools and volunteers achieve. I’m also looking forward to the follow-on projects, and getting Salmon upstream to Accrington!”

The project is a flagship scheme within the Ribble Life Together programme – delivering a healthier river system for the benefit and enjoyment of local communities and wildlife. The Ribble Rivers Trust are leading the project, working in partnership with The PROSPECTS Foundation, Hyndburn Borough Council and community representatives. The £128,000 project has been funded by national lottery players through the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Environment Agency, Natural Course – an EU LIFE funded project, and the Windfall Fund – a partnership between EnegieKontor and The PROSPECTS Foundation.

Alison Silver, Windfall Fund Grant Manager, added:

We’re really proud to be supporting this scheme and have been looking forward to it starting. As well as improving and celebrating the natural heritage of the Hyndburn Brook, it will inspire the local community and leave a positive legacy in our local area.”

Further information can be found at www.ribblelifetogether.org/hyndburnbrook-oakenshaw.

Oakenshaw Weir, Hyndburn Brook
3D visualisation of the bypass channel around Oakenshaw Weir
The Ribble Rivers Trust (RRT) is a local environmental charity established in 1997 to protect and restore the rivers, streams and watercourses within the Ribble catchment and to raise public awareness of the value of our local rivers and streams. The Ribble catchment is the area of land that is drained by the River Ribble and its major tributaries; the Hodder, Calder and Darwen. It covers a varied landscape, from the rural hills of the Yorkshire Dales and the source of the River Ribble, to major urban areas of Lancashire including Blackburn, Burnley and Preston. For more information visit https://ribbletrust.org.uk