Frequently Asked Questions
- Do you own the Rivers?
As much as we would love to, we do not own any stretches of the rivers in the Yorkshire Dales. Rivers generally belong to the owners of the land in which they run through. Landowners in the Yorkshire Dales include North Yorkshire Council, Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, Yorkshire Water, Estate owners, Farmers and individual homeowners. All of our projects and activities are carried out with the kind permission and support of the landowners.
If you own or think you may own part of the river, guidance on your responsibilities can be found here
2. I am concerned about an environmental incident who should I contact?
Please call the Environment Agency incident hotline on 0800 807060 to report:
- collapsed or badly damaged river banks
- damage or danger to the natural environment
- dead fish or fish gasping for air
- flooding from main rivers or the sea
- people taking water illegally from rivers or streams
- main rivers blocked by a vehicle or fallen tree causing risk of flooding
- poaching or illegal fishing
- pollution to water or land
- unusual changes in river flow
Please contact North Yorkshire Council regarding issues on water courses which aren’t main rivers and aren’t pollution incidents which need an immediate response. They can be contacted using the form on this page.
Please contact Yorkshire Water on 0345 1242422 regarding leaks from public sewers and drains. More information can be found here.
3. Should I be worried about foam in the river?
Guidance on the different types of foam that can be seen in rivers can be found here.
4. How do I find out who owns a stretch of river?
Information on land ownership can be found through the Land Registry
5. Trees and vegetation growing in and around the river are causing a nuisance who should I contact?
Trees on the river’s edge generally have beneficial impact on the health of the river. If trees are causing a nuisance to you or your property please contact the landowner (see above) in the first instance.
6. Do you maintain the bins or water safety devices next to the rivers?
No, these will have been installed by landowners (see above), please contact them directly regarding maintenance.
7. Can I swim in the river?
Guidance on wild swimming can be found here.
8. I would like to carry out a recreational activity on or by the river who should I contact?
Please see the links to guidance below. If in doubt please contact the landowner in the first instance.
9. I would like to carry out an environmental activity on or by the river who should I contact?
We would be happy to give advice and guidance on any environment activities you may be planning. Please contact us
10. Can I drink from the river?
Water from the river should never be consumed even with a water filter device. Numerous rivers in the area are affected by the after-effects of old mining and may contain traces of harmful metals and chemicals. There may also be sewage present in river water, as well as agricultural runoff such as slurry from farms, and run off from roads which could contain oils and other pollutants.
11. I think I’ve spotted an INNS (invasive non-native species) what should I do?
Guidance on INNS can be found here. Please record Invasive Non-Native Species sightings using the INNS mapper website. Along with our partners in the Yorkshire Invasive Species Forum we use the information gathered to target INNS monitoring and removal.
12.Do you work on the Canals?
No, the canals are owned by the Canals and Rivers Trust. For more information about canals and navigable waterways please visit The Canal and Rivers Trust website
13. Why don’t you dredge the rivers?
Dredging river channels does not prevent flooding, but it removes essential river-bed habitat, can damage river ecology and disrupt natural river processes. Instead, we work with natural processes to reduce the impact of extreme weather events and slow down the flow of water to lessen the likelihood of flooding. The Wild Trout Trust and Severn Rivers Trust have produced a very useful video showing the effects of unintended effects of dredging: Dredging Rivers | Wild Trout Trust
14. How do I volunteer or get involved?
If you would like to volunteer with us or find out more about our work we would love to hear from you! As most of our staff are either working from home or on-site we do not have a main phone number but please email on [email protected] or contact us and we will get back to you as soon as we can.