Skip to main content

Friends of The Dearne - Open Village Day Report



It was a great pleasure to be involved at the end of this summer with a vibrant "Open Village" event in Clayton West in the Kirklees region of West Yorkshire. As well as the many musical, local business and art exhibitions - a local angler and wildlife enthusiast Phil Slater had arranged an event to help reconnect people with their river. Alongside Chris Firth MBE of the Don Catchment Rivers Trust we hoped to increase the awareness of the river and the challenges it faces.

So many of the local families that came to the riverside activities (including bug dipping and fly casting lessons)came away with a real enthusiasm for the river and its future care and enhancement. It was a great testament to Phil's own passion for the river and the commitment he has made to see things continue to improve on this tributary of the Don (in 2015, right down at the confluence with the River Don, the first salmon parr was recorded on the Dearne in an Environment Agency survey).

The river faces many problems - from discharges of poor quality water, to invasive plants like giant hogweed and Himalayan balsam and habitat degradation through industrialisation and development. In places it escapes the worst of these impacts - and here there are pockets of wild trout and grayling populations. But the presence of these pollution-sensitive species are patchy and need all the help that they can get.

The video below covers the wide diversity of events that made up the open village event "Made In Clayton West".

Watch from 3 min 44 seconds to see Phil Slater explain the Friends of the Dearne project:


You can follow Phil and friends in their bid to protect and enhance the Dearne on their facebook page:
Facebook page for Friends of the Dearne

And you can read a short report (including the video above) on this summer's event on the Kirklees TV page here:
"Made in Clayton West" page on Kirklees TV

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Why Presume to Remove Weirs? (with River Dove Case Study)

Weirs and the Backwards Ways that Rivers Work One of my favourite sayings on river restoration is a mangled quote from a movie

"...boxing is an unnatural act. Everything in boxing is backwards: sometimes the best way to deliver a punch is to step backwards...but step back too far and you ain't fighting at all".

So my mangled version starts out "Everything in rivers is backwards...". Basically, I never seem to run out of new examples of "what SEEMS to happen in a river is actually the complete opposite of what really happens".



The rest of this article looks at many of the "backwards" things about weirs and rivers - and finishes off with a real-world case-study that is playing out right now on the River Dove.

One spoiler alert is that, from an ecological point of view, it is almost always safe to assume that:

The best biological outcome for a river is the removal of some or all of an artificial weir. 
Now, I don't expect you to believe that…

Oban Trout in the Town and Argyll Fisheries Trust

It was my great pleasure to travel up to the west coast of Scotland on Sunday (24th June)to meet up with Alan Kettle-White and Daniel Brazier of Argyll Fisheries Trust . Staying over until Tuesday enabled me to get in a habitat survey of the Black Lynn Burn in Oban on the Monday as well as meeting local stakeholders such as businessman Graham MacQueen of MacQueen Brothers who are keen to have local community members discover, re-engage and value their local urban river. Hopping into the river to walk along the riverbed was the best way to get to know the burn.
It didn't take long to find signs of life:


In fact, away from prying eyes, there was some very good habitat- particularly for juvenile trout (although also a lot of Himalayan balsam and Japanese knotweed also in evidence!)



As long as this small structure does not conceal services (such as sewage/gas pipes or electrical cables) and appropriate permission can be gained, the variety in depth and flow upstream…

The Wild Trout Trust: A Film by Chalkstream Fly

Here is a great short piece that captures what the work of the Wild Trout Trust is all about. It was made for (and broadcast on) the very first "World Fishing Day" - a 24hr live fishing programme created by FishingTV.com. It features TV personalities (and WTT President & Vice President respectively!) Jon Beer and Matthew Wright as well as Director of the Trust, Shaun Leonard.


You can see more work by the film-makers on Chalkstreamfly.co.uk and, of course, you can join the Wild Trout Trust here: WTT Membership

Paul Gaskell (Trout in the Town Conservation Officer)