Moving into the delivery period!
June 21, 2012
Well it really has been a long time since I posted, but that’s due to the little matter of my wedding and honeymoon, followed by lots of catching up to do! The trust has continued to be really busy over the last 6 weeks, and as per usual I’m still hoping to ramp up what we are delivering in the near future. This is my favourite time of year, when all projects are about to start, so there is the build up of excitement about seeing the improvements happening on the ground! At present all but one of our fish easement projects are awaiting final consent ahead of commencing in July. This has taken some careful scheduling to ensure that we can complete them all to budget, time and despite any possible interruptions from the weather!
As well as fish easements we are busy working away at invasive species. With volunteers trained in spraying, Adam has been using the dry days to spray and the wet days to pull balsam. So far they have undertaken 9 Himalayan balsam bashing days, clearing over 10 kilometres of Balsam. Although these will need revisiting this year and next, Adam has found two groups who are willing to take responsibility for the streams cleared. This is a fantastic result and hopefully will see these to becks cleared of Balsam over the next two years.
The Darwen study has no clearly identified 186 barriers to migration (not including culverts) of which there are 224 over 50 metres in length. Currently there are invertebrates being surveyed above many of these barriers to feed into the GIS analysis of which barriers provide the greatest fragmented habitat, i.e. which barrier removal would open up the most water! Once this is complete Late July a selection of barriers will then have fish passage options decided and designs completed. It is hoped to undertake electro fishing to link into this process in August.
The salmon tagging project is now in the most interesting and time consuming period. Tracking! We have successfully tracked most fish, and have a spread of fish through the system, with some very interesting results coming in over where the fish are moving too on each flood! For more info go to the salmon tagging project page and see Gareth’s blog.
The URES project continues to move towards the delivery phase, with over 30 river based community engagement projects now identified. The website is soon to be launched with information on these activities and other items of interest. The physical works we would like to carry out to the channels have now been identified, and JBA consulting are finishing off the flow analysis to determine the proposals impacts on flood risk, and then re-adjusting the proposals to ensure no significant increased risk occurs. On Sunday is rangers day in Thompson Park, where there will be a URES stall, if you are interested to find out more on what we are planning in Burnley please come along. There will be a range of stalls activities and attractions, and in some years the turnout is quite amazing (in the thousands!).
Ribble Life is continuing to gather momentum, with most of our 1-2-1 meetings with stakeholders now complete. The next phase of engagement is a stakeholder exchange (for more info visit the website). This will be a group of interested stakeholders who will help feed into the process, and challenge us and each other to deliver more and effectively, whilst exchanging contacts and ideas. As well as this we will be holding a workshop with Farm Environment Planners. Speaking of workshops, we held a really successful workshop with Anglers in May, which we hope to repeat later in the year. But in the near term those who attended we hope to have a meeting to discuss how we take forward some of the outcomes, such as developing individual fisheries plans, that will utilise eco-systems to improve fisheries, thus providing not only benefits for anglers, but the wider environment and public.
We have two invertebrate monitoring days booked for the 30th of June and 14th of July. They are almost full, but if you are interested please contact Catherine (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more info. We hope to soon have a dedicated web page that will display some of the data, and the monitoring of projects this data is linked to in the near future. Other monitoring going on includes the annual electro fishing programme which commences next week. This will see Gareth working around the catchment gathering data on fry densities to help inform on project success, as well as identifying new area to work on. At the same time, he’ll be gathering data on invasive species and presence and absence of Otters.
If you would like to get involved in any of the above please contact Catherine to be added to our volunteer mailing list, we send out monthly lists of dates of activities (from electro fishing to fencing or Himalayan Balsam bashing). It’s not just us who needs your help, but the River needs your help!
And as if all the above isn’t enough we are developing more projects!! Currently our partnership in the Keeping Rivers Cool project will see up to 14 riparian habitat projects delivered this year. With hopefully even more riparian habitat schemes being added to this list as the year progresses. We have also had some more good news on project funding which will see this number increase significantly. More news on this in the near future… watch this space, it’s going to be really exciting news for our river and the wider environment surrounding it!