Ribble Rivers Trust have been lucky enough to secure funding from the Tesco Bags of Help Initiative!
The Tesco Bags of Help initiative distributes the income from the 5p bag tax to local communities and we were lucky enough to be shortlisted for funding. A vote was held in the Burnley store between the 31st October and the 13th November to decide which of the shortlisted projects should receive £8,000, £10,000 or £12,000. Thanks to the shoppers at Burnley Tesco we won the vote and will received £12,000!
The project the Trust have proposed follows on from our previous work for the URES project in Burnley town centre; as we now have salmon on Towneley Park (for the first time in living memory) we would like to extend this success by connecting and improving the river habitat on the River Calder in Burnley Town Centre.
However, there is a weir, named Bluebell Wood weir, above Towneley Park which prevents salmon, trout and eels from continuing their journey up the Calder to breed; with no salmon above the weir and fish populations unsustainable the river cannot support species such as otters, kingfishers and herons and so is considered to be in poor health.
By physically modifying Bluebell Wood weir we could make it easier for fish to swim over the weir. To do this a local contractor would temporarily redirect the river and then remove the central section of the river. Boulders would then be placed downstream of the weir with a shallow slope across the rivers width, creating a ramp through the gap created in the centre. Once completed the river will be diverted back to the river channel and the riverbanks reinstated.
Thanks to the additional £4,000 of funding we will be able to arrange guided walks around the river designed to educate local primary school about river features, wildlife and pollution through mediums such as drama. Further to this we will also be creating circular walks with interpretation and information in the medium of apps, digital walk guides and leaflets which would be launched with a guided walk for the community.