October 17, 2011
Well firstly I’d like to apologise for the complete lack of posts over the last 6 weeks, it’s hard to believe it’s been that long, but when
I look at what we’ve been up to recently it’s not that surprising. The trust is in a real transition at the moment, we’ve made another appointment since my last post – Jackie Dibley – who is our community engagement officer for the URES project, and we are soon to make another three appointments. These are two invasive species officers and a Ribble Life engagement officer.
You may ask what is Ribble Life? It’s the project title for the Ribble Pilot that we are co-hosting with the EA. It was launched on Friday of last week, and we had a fantastic turnout, both in Diversity and in numbers! The pilot is looking at new ways of working
to deliver river improvements. Particularly working in collaboration with others. This is something we have been doing for 13
years, but now we hope to ramp up the scale and deliver real benefits for all, the river, business and communities. The Launch was opened by Nigel Evans the MP for Ribble Valley and the deputy house of commons. It was held at the Wildlife Trust’s Brockhole visitor centre, which is an amazing venue that I would recommend to anyone. Many connections were made and hopefully a few seeds for collaborative projects sown. We will continue our engagement and work to identify possible partners over the next 12 – 18 months trying to set up projects to deliver.
The engagement for URES has now started and Jackie has had a couple of weeks to get herself set and is now undertaken many meetings and hopes to arrange some events to encourage involvement in this project. The Fish passes in Burnley are now almost
complete and all should be done by Friday. We have been so unlucky with the weather is it unreal, but my many thanks go to Baileys Developments who have done an incredible job.
We’ve now completed all the design work for the other fish passes required in Burnley and hope to soon have them submitted to the national fish pass panel for approval. We hope to bebuilding a 3 flight larinier style fish pass, and a 4 step pre barage pass. These couldn’t be much more different, but ultimately the most appropriate for their locations!
Stock Beck has had all the gravel added and we are now awaiting a chance to get the fencing up, but the weather is delaying us as,
understandably, the farmers don’t want machinery churning up their fields.
Our electro fishing is almost complete, our annual catchment wide surveys are done, as are our surveys linked to the Settle Hydro and the Signal Crayfish in Bookil Gill Beck (which threw up a huge surprise – a juvenile grayling). However we are still undertaking some of the Surveys linked to impacts of Abstraction on the Dunsop and Langen. This should be done in the next fortnight. All results will soon be inputted and analysis complete ahead of our AGM in November. Thanks to all the volunteers who helped to deliver this monitoring, it is key to the overall reporting of trust activities and state of our rivers health.
We’ll be looking to host another invertebrate volunteer evening in November, but we need to get our other projects out of the way
before starting on the data analysis. We’ll also be reporting on the Otter spraint monitoring and trying to drum up support for some more volunteers to help with this and the invasives.
We’ve also moved from our old building at Hanson Cement, to our new space near main reception which gives us all the desk space we need, plus a meeting/conference room, archive and plenty of storage. Not to mention a room we plan to set up for our Invert lab!
Cam and Gayle Beck works are progressing as best can be expected given the weather, and last week we took our external grant funders from the Nineveh Trust around for a project site visit. Despite the poor weather a good time was had and we were able to show some of the real issues we are tackling in this project.
We’ve also visited a fish trap on Warrington to see salmon trapping and tagging in action ahead of our planned work next year. However no salmon were caught on our visit! This project is progressing nicely and the realisation that it is no small task has really come home. We are yet to secure our equipment, but are currently following a few avenues to get our hands on some kit that will mean we can deliver this project for fantastic value. In the mean time we have recieved consent and begun trapping some of our fish pass as part of assessing their efficiency.
Our Large woody debris project at Newton and Knowlmere is no almost complete, we are just looking at one last piece of work, but the main body of work is done, and some fantastic habitat for fish, inverts and otters has been completed! Thanks to all the
volunteers who helped with this!
I think this is about all other than to say this time of year always gets me excited as trout and salmon begin their last big migratory push, trout will be starting to spawn in some parts of the catchment, whilst the first frost will signal the temperature change that is likely to bring spawning on in ernest. So if you see some long haired bearded chap leaning over bridges is probably me looking for my favourate fish.