River Stewardship: promoting good business practice along our rivers
As well as our business sponsorship packages we have now introduced our River Stewardship scheme (see launch leaflet) for businesses along the rivers and streams in the Colne catchment. There was much interest in the scheme from attendees and we are now looking at how we further develop this initiative with organisations which volunteered to trial the scheme at the launch: Trustford Huddersfield, Thornton & Ross, University of Huddersfield, B&Q Huddersfield and Cummins Turbo Technologies who offered to act as mentor for interested parties. Once we are clear how the system works and ironed out any problems we will role out the scheme across the catchment.
Rationale of the scheme: Many businesses are resident alongside the rivers and canals and can make a significant difference to their local environment by adopting and complying with our basic set of agreed principles to become a River Steward. This will help ensure good management practices are adopted with minimal cost to business but with big benefits to the river and ultimately the marine environment where plastic pollution from rivers and other sources is a major concern. In addition, business can adopt an enhanced set of principles which is likely to result in them become one of our Greenstreams Supporters through our sponsorship scheme. This will not only help protect our rivers but also improve them.
For more details please contact us by emailing your details to us from the website contact page.
Help us create a linear park along the River Colne
The Greenstreams Project is well aware of the value of the waterways corridor along the River Colne catchment. But what about everyone else? Our long term goal is to create a linear park based around the river corridor. This would help raise the profile of our water heritage and can help in bringing business and the community together. We have now undertaken a feasibility study to see what such a park might look like and how it can be developed. The feedback on the idea has been fantastic and many think a community operated and run park is a great idea, especially as we are likely to see local authorities retreat from supporting any such work.
In simple terms what we have is an existing network of greenspaces along the river corridor to which the public has access. Many of these sites offer different things for recreation, wildlife or heritage. There are some access links between them and also some gaps. However, together these sites and access links add up to a significant asset for the area which is underused and undervalued. We need to change that.
We do need local businesses to give us their views on this. Do you think it is a good idea and can you offer support? Whether a landowner along the river or just staff itching to get their hands dirty, we think you can. Also, your support in whatever guise, has value and can help bring money into the district to help develop the park.
We have around 20 sites up for adoption which together make up the network of sites that can form the linear park,so there is plenty of work to do! Please take a look at our sponsorship packages - a great way to get involved and support the project and develop the linear park.
Also, what do we call such a park? Any thoughts? Do let us know.
Sites we are managing
Some businesses are already supporting the Greenstreams Project through the adoption scheme and the linear park idea of managed and connected areas is developing. This is making a real difference, with sites more attractive for visitors and improving habitats for wildlife. Some community groups are also contributing to this process and you can find out more about these on their websites.
A key cycle route between Huddersfield and our Colne Bridge site, where the greenway crosses the river over the viaduct. Great views of the river and surrounding woodland are to be had. We have been working with volunteers from Cummins Turbo Technologies for many years on improving the wildlife habitats along this greenway, including the conversion of a dense conifer plantation to mixed woodland. Much better for wildlife. Wildlfower grassland is also being maintained, trees planted, woodlands thinned and bat and bird boxes erected. Get out your bike and give the route a try.
Lockwood Greenway, Huddersfield:
This cycle route is around 1 kilometre long and goes from the footbridge across the river at Damside Road (also the cycle route into town) right through to Lockwood. We are now working with LV=, who have adopted this stretch of river and cycle route, tidying it up and maintaining the site. However, we are also on with restoring views of the river, improving an area of grassland for butterflies, undertaking some woodland management and putting up bat and bird boxes. It's no easy task but with enthusiastic staff it really is fantastic how much of a difference we can make in an afternoon.
We are also very grateful to a local resident who has contributed £1000 for this site.
Although we have been somewhat frustrated recently because of access restrictions as a result of a fire we are now back in business and with the help of the Fire Service and LV staff we have cleared a mass of rubbish from the site. It was so good to have the help of the Fire Service who volunteered their time, as they were able to access areas which are difficult for us to do because of safety issues. We look forward to scheduling further works with LV=.
John Smith's Stadium:
Our first riverside information board at the John Smiths Stadium illustrates the fantastic wildlife that can be seen on and in the river around the area. There are kingfishers, herons, dippers and much more. The board has been sponsored by Kirklees Stadium Devlopment Limited but if you would like your own version of the board to help promote the project please get in touch. Also let us know what wildlife you see along the river. Wildflowers are much more evident since the clearance of the Japanese knotweed and the display of ramsons was spectacular around the end of April beginning of May. We are on with restoring views of the river and access improvements are ongoing, in part ot help with maintaining the area but also to give better access to the riverside. KSDL staff have been involved with this and we also had 8 volunteer staff from the Environment Agency for a day. We are making real progress especially when taking into account the Kilner Bank riverside path (see below).
Kilner Bank Riverside:
With volunteers from Cummins Turbo Technologies we have been doing some work tidying up the riverside footpath including the thinning of trees alongside the path and opening up the route. And views of the river! Not only does this make it more attractive for users - especially as we have cleared aroud the picnic bench and seat - but it also creates a more diverse habitat for wildlife. We have also removed much rubbish from the area, most of which had obviously been there many years. The favourable comments from passers by are much appreciated. We still have more to do but the whole stretch is now much more attractive especially as we have also carried out works on the Cummins side of the river.
This is a walk between the Aldi store at Milnsbridge where there is a seat by the river and Britannia Road. Below the Britannia Road entrance is a weir with a viewing area and again an area for sitting away from the hustle and bustle of Milnsbridge centre. Both Aldi and Lion Estates Investment Ltd help us manage the site through our sponsorship scheme and Milnsbridge Enhancement Group also undertake work there so if you are a local resident and want to help, get in touch. With Milnsbridge Enhancement Group volunteers we have now completed the process of repairing the steps from Britannia Road down to the weir and installed a handrail to make access safer.
In addition, local community groups manage the following sites.
Dean Wood Netherton and Beaumont Park:
Dean Wood is one of the best examples of semi-natural woodland within Kirklees. The steep ravine has protected the woodland and we have been working with Friends of Dean Wood to encourage more people to use the wood. The work includes improving footpaths, creating a circular walk around the wood, erecting 3 information boards, clearing the viewing point and wildlife management. Definitely worth a visit.
In contrast, to Dean Wood, Beaumont Park is a more formal park although there is also a woodland walk, the Rail Trail which takes in the old Meltham Branch Line. Beaumont Park is one of the finest parks in Kirklees with spectacular views of the Holme Valley and well looked after by Friend of Beaumont Park. Again, bat and bird boxeshave been erected and lots of other measures to make the area more wildlife friendly. Take a stroll around as there is plenty to see and a cafe. For details on the individual groups go to: https://www.environmentkirklees.org/
Check out the leaflet in our media section which has a walk which takes in the river and both Dean Wood and Beaumont Park.