In 2015, Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust (YDRT) carried out walkovers across six water bodies, located in the Bedale, Scorton and Skeeby areas. The ecological status of the water bodies are classified as ‘poor’ due to high sediment loads, and associated high level of phosphate. Heavy sediment loads lead to a loss of habitat for fish to spawn and can also contribute to problems with flooding.
Following the walkovers, YDRT produced a Mid Swale Tributary (MST) Catchment restoration report. The report highlighted opportunities and prioritised farms where work could be carried out across the target waterbodies. Some funding was secured from the Environment Agency to help deliver a range of interventions to help improve the ecological status of these water bodies and enabled YDRT to work with eleven farmers/landowners. Deliverables included; livestock fencing, bank protection work, tree planting, installation of instream flow deflectors and sediment traps.
Much remains to be done to improve the status of these waterbodies. We have further funding to enable YDRT to continue to deliver the remaining opportunities identified. Funding will also help YDRT to maintain a presence within the catchments building links with farmers and communities and obtain funding in the future. Whilst working within the MST catchment there is a clear opportunity to look at ways in which YDRT can deliver Natural Flood Management measures that can provide multiple benefits and would help to improve the natural functioning of the becks whilst helping to reduce flood risk.
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