As the swallows start to gather… think about volunteering!

We thought it would be a good time to take a moment to reflect on what has been a hectic, but exciting few months. Following our project launch back at the start of July, we’ve had a fantastic summer. As well as improving our rivers, we’ve been busy working and speaking with communities across the catchment.

Catchment improvement projects
Peat restoration work taking place on Cam Fell

Peat restoration work taking place on Cam Fell

So far this year we’ve completed five fish pass schemes. These are at Sabden, Selside, Burnley (near Townleley Park), Mill Lane, Chipping and at Hungrill near Bolton-by-Bowland. The fish bypass channel at Oakenshaw (Clayton-Le-Moors) is almost complete and will be our last fish pass this year. We’ve created a new network of ponds near to a young woodland near Tosside, and begun a mammoth programme of peat restoration near the source of the Ribble on Cam Fell. This scheme will improve 30km of eroding channels and revegetate 6.45ha of bare peat.

We have one more wetland creation scheme at Slate Pits Farm, near Accrington, which will be started in October. All of this year’s wetland schemes will feature in a short film highlighting the importance of wetlands for rivers. Wetlands provide valuable freshwater habitat, provide water storage, and help reduce the risk of flooding or droughts by ‘slowing the flow’.

Events and volunteering
The Trust team meeting the next generation of supporters and volunteers at one of our many events!

The Trust team meeting the next generation of supporters and volunteers at one of our many events!

Summer is also a key time to spread the word about Ribble Life Together and the wider work of Ribble Rivers Trust. We’ve attended a total of 16 events, holding 1396 conversations about rivers. We’ve also delivered 20 volunteer events which resulted in 689.5 volunteer hours on the project. These events are really important as they help us reach people who may know nothing about RRT and little about rivers. We often find people are fascinated by what lives in our rivers and the many positive benefits we get from a healthy catchment. It’s also a great opportunity to get the next generation interested too!

In July ran a successful Cache In Trash Out (CITO) event with a very positive response from the volunteers and geocachers who attended. At CITO events, geocachers and community groups work together to improve parks and other outdoor environments. At our event attendees focussed on removing Himalayan Balsam, an Invasive Non-Native Species (INNS), but they may include cleaning up litter, planting trees, building trails, and other similar activities. This activity has great potential and is already reaching new audiences. We have planned another event on 24th September near Freckleton in conjunction with Keep Britain Tidy and the LOVEmyBEACH campaign (get in touch for more details).

Get involved this autumn!
Some of our wonderful volunteers on site at Oakenshaw

Some of our wonderful volunteers on site at Oakenshaw

We’re now getting ready for our winter tree planting season, beginning to install fences at this year’s woodland scheme sites and planning our volunteer days from now until the end of March. This year we have schemes near Bolton-by-Bowland, Tosside, Grimsargh, Samlesbury, Bamber Bridge and Clayton-Le-Moors, so why not come along and plant some trees with us this autumn!

If you would like to volunteer please send an email to admin@ribbletrust.com to put your name on the mailing list and you will receive notifications of upcoming volunteer events. You can also ring us on 01200 444452 or visit the events page of the website to see what’s coming up.