Upper Wharfe Restoration Project
Why run the Upper Wharfe Restoration Project?
In 2003 the Water Framework Directive (WFD) was created, with the aim of moving towards a holistic catchment management approach. The aim of the WFD is to bring all the rivers within the EU to a particular ecological status. Initially six water bodies from the source of the Wharfe through to Grassington were not reaching good ecological condition, therefore the Upper Wharfe Restoration Project (UWRP) was established in 2011 to try and tackle some of these issues.
What are the UWRP's aims?
The UWRP aims to minimise the effects of enhanced sedimentation, poor fish recruitment, diffuse agricultural pollution and temperature by encouraging better land management, creating improved habitats for wildlife and promoting sustainable use of water as a natural resource.
The project has carried out numerous on the ground conservation measures throughout the catchment, including fencing, willow spiling, willow bundling and tree planting. Most of the ecological benefit of these projects is intended to improve habitats and increase the river’s connectivity with the wider landscape. Furthermore various farm plans have been produced. These are designed to encourage local farmers to consider their effect on the river system. In addition, we have also been working closely with the local school involving school children in the project, increasing their awareness of the river and it’s interaction with the local environment.
Who is involved in the UWRP?
The UWRP project is led by the Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust but is funded by the Environment Agency. We work closely with a variety of different organisations and interested parties including the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, National Trust, Natural England, local angling groups, farmers, land owners and local conservation committees. The majority of our conservation effort is conducted by a fantastic, hard working group of volunteers.