Ribble Life for Water us the second collaborative project to be progressed by the Ribble’s Catchment Partnership, the first being Ribble Life Together.
Ribble Life for Water is made up of several projects that target different areas of water around the catchment that are most in need of improvement.
Some of the projects we will be completing as part of Ribble Life for Water include;
- Holland Wood; this weir lies across the River Darwen very close to the tidal area of the river. By creating a bypass channel it is hoped that fish will be able to successfully migrate from the sea, to rivers, and back again.
- Gayle Beck; here the river channel has been modified and straightened, and all the riverside trees have been removed. In order to return the river to a more natural state we will be adding woody material into the river to improve habitats, and ensure the river flows in a more natural way.
- Roach Bridge; this weir is possibly the single biggest barrier to fish movement in the whole catchment. The location and the position of a nearby bridge, mill, and hydro power scheme make it a complex barrier to tackle. As such we will be conducting a feasibility study to determine how to solve the problem.
- Upper Ribble; four weirs at the upper end of the river Ribble have been identified as causing problems for fish by preventing the natural movement of sediment and gravel downstream. By removing sections of these weirs, we will be able to ensure that the river moves in a more natural way.
- Mearley Brook; starting on Pendle Hill the brook flows through Clitheroe and into the Ribble. On it’s way through agricultural land, industrial areas, villages and towns, the brook suffers from various pollution inputs, we hope to reduce these inputs by providing advice for farmers and landowners in the area, and by restoring some of the damaged areas of peat.
- Pendle Water; almost the whole length of this water course has been heavily modified with concrete lined beds channels, straightened lengths, and weirs. Our aim is to remove some of the concrete from the channels and create a more natural river structure.
- Salmesbury; located close to the tidal area of the Ribble, this old gauging weir is now redundant. Although it’s small size does not pose a particularly intimidating barrier to fish movement it is a partial barrier and the first any migratory fish will reach in their journey. By removing it we will be able to help fish move around the catchment more freely.
Ribble Life for Water has been granted £1.5 million by the Environment Agency and Natural England, who are jointly administering the Water Environment Grant – a fund provided by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development to improve the water environment in rural England.