Fenay Beck Project

The ‘Restoring Fenay Beck’ project, is a project which aims to improve and create habitat along the Fenay Beck.

The project is a partnership project between Calder Rivers Trust, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, and local landowners and individuals. The project is funded through BiffaAward.

Mine water pollution is a big problem on the Beck

The beck runs from the easterly outskirts of Huddersfield through to Shepley, in Kirklees, West Yorkshire. Over the years, the beck has been altered heavily by humans, which has had a negative impact on its habitat, wildlife and water quality.

Location of Fenay Beck:

Note: Project work to take place at sites along the Beck

  • Bank erosion and poaching is a serious problem, causing sediment to be deposited in the Beck. We’re looking to address this through stabilising banks, better controll of cattle access, and establishing a buffer strip to allow areas for riparian habitat to take form reducing sedimentation
  • We will help prevent further erosion through willow spilling and other bank restoration techniques
  • As part of the project bird and bat boxes will be installed to provided areas of habitat until newly planted trees have had time to develop
  • We will tackle the spread of inavasive non-native species along the water course
  • We will develop a reed-bed filtration system to help treat and prevent contaminated mine water entering the beck
Farmers, landowners, and local people helping to make Fenay Beck better!

Work has begun to improve Fenay Beck in West Yorkshire, thanks to funding from Calder Rivers Trust and Biffa Award.

Working closely with the local community, our project partners will create new habitat and put in measures to reduce diffuse pollution and stabilise the riverbanks, as well as collaborating closely with local landowners to help improve agricultural practices. This work will bring direct and indirect benefits for locally important species such as great-crested newt, water vole, brown long-eared bat, noctule bat, soprano pipistrelle bat, otter, reed bunting and a wide range of aquatic invertebrate species, delivering multiple benefits to both people and wildlife in the surrounding area.

Rivers are natural corridors between wildlife-friendly areas, and helping them to flourish allows wildlife to move around both the countryside and urban areas.

A key part of the project will involve engaging with local community groups, with local volunteers being offered training in Riverfly monitoring, practical conservation techniques and invasive species surveying and monitoring. It is hoped the project will raise awareness of issues facing the beck and inspire local communities to take action, developing a sense of ownership and long-term sustainability measures.

“Restoring Fenay Beck is such a great project to help the local wildlife and community. It’s great to have got the much needed funding from Biffa Award and Calder Rivers Trust, and from growing up in Huddersfield I know first-hand what a big difference this project will make to the local area. It will provide a great opportunity for volunteers to get involved in their local community and give something back to the environment, while also gaining great practical conservation experience. It is great to see local landowners and farmers supporting the project and coming forward with areas where the project can help make a difference”
Alex Green
Project Assistant
The project will help stabilise extreme cases of bank erosion to prevent too many fine sediments entering the water, and safeguard the land

Gillian French, Biffa Award Head of Grants, said: “Rivers are vital habitats, and great for connecting people with nature. We are proud that through the Landfill Communities fund, Biffa Award has been able to support this project that will benefit both the people and the wildlife of the local area.

River Health Project - monitoring of the beck

This project was made possible by the regular and systematic environmental and water quality monitoring of the beck by our team of highly dedicated citizen scientists – which identified and pinpointed the problems and causes of the issue on the beck. Find out more about how they did it through the River Health Project here.

How to get involved

For more information on this project you can use our Contact page or email talk@calderandcolneriverstrust.org.

You can also email the Alex directly, at alex.green@ywt.org.uk to find out more about project events and volunteering opportunities.

Keep and eye on our Events pages for up coming items about the Fenay Beck Project.

Fencing off and buffering the watercourse, providing cattle crossing and drinking points will also help habitat develop and reduce the chance of soils getting into the water
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