Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Upper Wharfe Restoration Project: Update

Gains from the rains

So we are now securely on track for the wettest summer in 100 years. Some areas of the country have experienced one month’s rainfall in just a few hours. Our rivers seem to be constantly in spate will little sign of easing up. Catchment walkover surveys are slow going and Electric Fishing is near impossible!
I wouldn’t be British if I didn’t complain, but it’s not all doom and gloom. The restoration project at Nethergill farm is coming on nicely (see previous blog). The willow bundles are taking full advantage of our mild and wet summer, greening up, rooting and stabilising the bank.
The Willow Bundling project up at Nethergill Farm was one of my first restoration projects with the Trust, so it is satisfying to see it working and still in place despite being completely submerged on numerous occasions.

So what have I learnt:
Despite being a success so far there are lots of things to learn. Below are some of the issues that have been raised to date.

       1:            Fencing

As part of the project 400m of river was fenced off to control livestock access to the banks, leaving a 1-2 metre buffer strip between the field and the edge of the bank. Because the area is prone to flooding we decided to use 5 line fencing with two barbs on top to prevent debris building up and ripping the fence out. 

Problem: During lambing if the ewe lambed next to the fence the lamb sometimes got between the 5 line wire and could not return to it’s mother.

Solution: 5 Line fencing is fine for Cattle but maybe consider stock fencing or shorting the distance between the wires, closer to the ground to prevent lambs getting through. 

 2:   Tree Planting Bundling

20 trees were planted on the riverside of the fence to improve tree cover, shading and regulate river temperature. The trees were planted inside a 7ft metal mesh tree guard so that cattle could be allowed inside the fence for a couple of weeks each year to reduce the risk of Himalayan balsam. The guards had to be large enough to prevent cattle damaging the trees.

Problem: Weeds have out-competed the trees and thus we have had poor recruitment especially considering the exceptional growing conditions this year.

Solution: Lay a mulch mat down around the whips to prevent weeds growing, also put them inside a shelter to prevent voles eating the new trees.

 2:   Bundling

About 50m of bundling was carried out at the toe of an eroding bank with overhanging slumps knocked off and dropped back in behind the bundles to provide them with some soil to root into. 

Problem:  There is still a substantial amount of bare soil. Granted it has only been 3 months since the project has been complete but considering the amount of rainfall we have received it would be beneficial if we could get grass/weeds growing faster creating less exposed soils.

Solution: Plant a native grass seed mix on the bare soil to encourage and promote vegetation growth rather than waiting for the bank to reseed itself.

Dan Turner
Project Officer
Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust


Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Lucy Anderson's Research

River users research - your help needed!

As part of a research project at the University of Leeds, we're trying to find out more about the activities of river users (anglers and boaters) in Yorkshire. Please fill in our questionnaire at to tell us about where you go fishing and the kit that you use. The questionnaire only takes 5-10 minutes to complete and everyone who takes part can enter a prize draw to win a £50 tackle shop voucher!

Monday, 16 April 2012

Upper Wharfe Restoration Project

Making the most of it…..

Upper Wharfe Restoration Project

We have had a beautiful few weeks in the Yorkshire Dales giving us a fantastic opportunity to get on with some of our restoration projects and training days, with little worry of being washed away but also picking up a bit of a tan. Only in Britain can you be seen in shorts and t-shirts one day and be wrapped up and avoiding the snow the next.

Willow Bundling

First up, at the beginning of March we started our first Upper Wharfe Restoration Project up in the headwaters of the Wharfe at Nethergill Farm. I visited Chris at Nethergill Farm in the first few weeks of the UWRP. I was really enthusiastic about Nethergill Farm and the direction they were heading in, it’s encouraging to see farmers making conscious efforts to farm sensitively with respect to their local river and environment.

Our first visit….

On that visit we highlighted a particularly bad eroding bank that had probably been exacerbated by livestock access to the banks. It was also clear that there was a distinct lack of tree cover along the bank sides. We decided the best solution was to fence off the river bank leaving a 2m buffer strip where possible, plant some trees on the inside of the fence line and do some willow bundling to protect the eroding bank.

Between the 12th-14th a group of volunteers helped the YDRT to carry out the Willow Bundling and the following week a contractor installed the fence and trees.

Day 1 of the Willow Bundling with very kind help from the National Trust we felled some locally sourced willow and a group of volunteers from Harrogate helped to bundle together the Willow.

Day 2 we had the bundles transported to Nethergill Farm. Another group of volunteers then installed 25 metres of bundles along the toe of the bank. Using fence posts we tied down the bundles with wire to keep them secure, we then packed soil behind so that the willow had something to grow into. The willlow bundles are great for supporting the bottom of the banks as well as providing some cover for juvenile fish.

Day 3 Another group of volunteers then helped install brashing behind the bundles, in similar fashion to the bundles, we tied this down to the banks. Brashing here is good for slowing down the velocity of the river in spate and also trapping some of that “fine sediment”.

So there we are, our first project completed. It went pretty well and the results were better than expected. Lets hope the willows take root and the bank stabilises and stops the erosion. Thanks to all the volunteers who helped with this project and Chris for allowing use to do the work on his land.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

The River Ure at Thoresby




· Founded in 2004 the Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust is a registered charity dedicated

to river catchment management of the rivers Wharfe, Nidd, Ure and Swale being

the major tributaries of the Yorkshire Ouse.

· Is an affiliated member of the national Rivers Trust and now has two paid

employees. All other administration and work is conducted by volunteer trustees.

· YDRT has established very rewarding working relationships with landowners and

managers, government and non-government conservation organisations with

similar objectives, but is an independent charity totally reliant on funding from its

subscribing associate members and grants from award making agencies.


From the chairman

This will be the third year that YDRT has held an auction which forms a small, but

important role in the Trust’s fund raising. The response to last year’s auction was a

little disappointing raising only £760 as opposed to over £1,000 in the first year. At

this particular time fund raising for core expenditure is proving more difficult than

getting restricted project funding. Unrestricted funds are essential to cover the routine

costs of running YDRT.

In addition to posting hard copies of the auction catalogue to all YDRT members, it is

hoped that a wider public may also be attracted through making the catalogue

available on our website It may also be

downloaded as a document in portable document format (pdf) readily circulated to any

of your friends or acquaintances that you think may be interested in bidding.

In this year’s auction there are some most attractive lots and not only for those with an

angling interest. One of our angling members caught a 17lb salmon, the largest of his

career so far fishing on a lot donated last year. Also “considerably cheaper than a lot

of fishing” was his observation.

On behalf of YDRT I would like to thank all the donors of lots for their very kind

support and generosity.

John Shillcock






Submission of bids:

Please submit bids by post or email to:

Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust

East Farmhouse




The auction will commence Thursday 1st March 2012 and no further bids will be accepted after 10 am on Thursday, 12th April 2012.

· Please ensure that your name, address and telephone number are forwarded with the bid. A convenient form for postal bids is provided as page 8.

· AUCTION DAY – bids will be processed on Thursday, 12th April 2012. Every effort will be made to inform the successful bidders in writing during the following week. It is regretted that that YDRT cannot undertake to inform unsuccessful bidders.

· A starting price is stated against each lot and may be considered as a reserve price and the lowest that will be accepted for any lot. Where a guide price is provided this is the price which was obtained for the lot last year, or has been suggested as the “reasonable market value” by the donor. Auction participants may place “commission bids” similar to those accepted at a live auction. For example if a participant makes a bid of £100 for a lot with a starting price of £25 and there are no other bids for the lot, that bidder will secure the lot for £25. If bid of £30 is made by another bidder the “commission bid” will be secured at £35. The bids for all lots will be periodically updated on to allow you to monitor bids and increase your offer should you wish.

· Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust retains the right to refuse a bid even if it is the highest offered for a lot.

· The description of lots is based on information provided in good faith by the donors. Neither the YDRT nor the relevant donor can be held responsible for errors of description. If the donor of a lot is, for any reason, unable to make available the fishing offered YDRT shall refund the purchase price to the winning bidder, but shall have no liability for any consequent costs, loss or damages.

· Notes for successful bidders

· Successful bidders will be notified by post. Once notified, please pay promptly by cheque payable to Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust. If payment is not received in a reasonable time (two weeks) YDRT will phone the successful bidder, but reserves the right to offer the lot to the next highest bidder.

· Once payment is made the successful bidder will be advised of the donor’s contact details or be sent the prize awarded. In the case of sporting or dining lots, please contact the donor(s), as early as possible to arrange dates that are mutually acceptable. The donor may then also be able to advise when, for example, fishing is likely to be at its best or to offer some flexibility. All lots are to be taken during the 2012 season.

· In the case of fishing please ensure that you have established this contact to be advised of the limits of the water and the permissible angling methods BEFORE beginning to fish.

· Lots in this auction have been generously given by the donors for the benefit of Yorkshire Dales River Trust. They may not be resold or awarded as prizes for competitions without the permission of the donor and of YDRT.

· If anglers have fished outside the United Kingdom, please remember the continuing need to ensure that tackle, waders and equipment are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before fishing to avoid the risk of the introduction of pathogenic or alien species.

Sporting lots

Lot 1 (Donated by A Roberts Esq.)

A day’s flyfishing for two rods trout on the Kilnsey Angling Club water on the R Wharfe. This is an opportunity to fish the water of this prestigious club, one of the oldest in the country. A visitor ticket for the day during 2012 season with the conditions detailed will be issued to the successful bidder.

Guide price £50 (Starting price £25)

Lot 2 (Donated by the York and District Amalgamation of Anglers)

A Yearbook of the York DAA for the year 2012. The Yearbook is a permit valid from 1st January 2012 until 31st December 2012 which allows the holder to fish all the waters under York DAA control. This includes thirty stretches of prime Yorkshire river fishing on the Yorkshire Ouse, Derwent, Nidd, Foss, Rye and Seven; Pocklington and Selby canals; 11 miles of fishing on the Aire and Calder Canal and seven stillwaters, each with its own individual character. Also included is a permit to fish Laybourne Lakes at Hessay which is only usually available on payment of an additional fee.

Guide price £75 (Starting price £25)

Lot 3 (Donated by Sir Timothy Kitson)

Two days’ fishing on the R Ure for two rods on the 600 metre single bank beat (left bank) above Ulshaw Bridge. (Any legitimate angling method may be used. All salmon to be returned). Dates to be agreed with the donor. The donor has also generously included three bottles of wine from his personal cellar with this lot.

Guide price £200 (Starting price £50)

Lot 4 (Donated by Jervaulx Fly Fishers)

A day’s trout and grayling fishing for two persons on the Jervaulx Fly Fishers waters at Jervaulx, nr Masham. The fishery has 2 miles of the right bank of the R Ure and three small lakes with parking close to the fishing.

Guide price £60 (Starting price £25)

Lot 5 (Donated by David Henderson)

A day’s fly casting instruction at Raygill Fishery, Lothersdale (stocked with Gold, Blue, Rainbow and Brown Trout) will be given by David Henderson (member of the Game Angling Instructors’ Association) at a mutually agreeable date during 2012. Alternatively a day’s instruction on the R Wharfe may be arranged entailing the purchase of a £30 Bolton Abbey permit.

Guide price £120 (Starting price £75

Lot 6 (Donated by AJS Flyfishers)

Two days’ flyfishing for trout and grayling on the River Nidd near Knaresborough for two rods. Fishing will be in the Nidd gorge area at Scotton. The dates to be agreed with the Club Secretary who will explain the detailed water limits.

Guide price £150 (Starting price £100)

Lot 7 (Donated by Lord Bolton)

A day’s salmon fly fishing on the Thoresby Beat of R Ure on the of Bolton Castle Estate water near Leyburn. All salmon and sea trout to be returned to assist the conservation and species recovery programme. This fishing provided last year’s lot winner with his largest salmon yet.

(Starting price £50)

Lot 8 (Donated by T Wheelwright Esq.)

A day’s flyfishing for trout and grayling on Gouthwaite Reservoir, Nidderdale for two rods and an evening meal for two at the Sportsman’s Arms, Wath, Pateley Bridge. Alternatively a single rod may take two separate days on agreement with the donor, but the meal is to be taken by two persons on the same evening. The date/s to be agreed with the donor.

Guide price £100 (Starting price £50)

Lot 9 (Donated by Ian Burdon Esq.)

A day’s fishing for salmon and trout on the R Ure for two rods and afternoon tea at the Jervaulx Abbey Tea Rooms. This Jervaulx Estate water is for the single, right bank and extends downstream for 2.5 miles from Harker Beck to Kilgram Bridge. The date and details of the water will be provided by the donor.

Guide price £100 (Starting price £50)

Lot 10 (Donated by Tom Ramsden Esq.)

A guided walk round Hackfall, the beautiful and impressive gorge near Grewelthorpe, followed by an evenings fly fishing on the R Ure for one or two rods.

(Starting price £25)

Lot 11 (Donated by James Harrison-Topham Esq.)

Two days trout fishing on the R Cover (or one day for two rods) to be taken in the 2012 season. This is a great opportunity to fish for wild brown trout and has to be taken when the water is in the right condition. Prior arrangements to be made with the donor who will the notify keeper, the farming tenant and explain the limits of the fishing.

Guide price £75 (Starting price £25)

Lot 12 (Donated by Stuart Hopper Esq.)

A days fishing on the R Tees on Darlington Fly Fishers Club water near Barnard Castle around the “meeting of the waters” at the confluence of the rivers Greta and Tees. The river here holds brown trout, grayling and the occasional salmon and sea trout and a picnic lunch will be provided on a date by arrangement.

Guide price £40 (Starting price £25)

Lot 13 (Donated by Adrian Thornton-Berry Esq.)

A day’s fly fishing for salmon for two rods on the R Ure on the Swinithwaite Estate water during September/October 2012. All salmon to be returned to the river.

Guide price £50 (Starting price £50)

Lot 14 (Donated by R Bourne-Arton Esq.)

A day’s flyfishing for salmon and seatrout on the Tanfield Estate water, West Tanfield, Ripon. All salmon to be returned; two fresh seatrout may be killed. The date and details of the water will be provided by the donor.

Guide price £100 (Starting price £50)

Lot 15 (Donated by Ian Long Esq.)

A day’s still water fly fishing for rainbow trout on the Nderit Fishing Lake, Skeeby, Richmond for two rods. Two fish may be retained by each rod and the owner advises that the lake fishes well earlier in the season.

Guide price £50 (Starting price £25)

Lot 16 (Donated by Nidderdale Angling Club)

A week’s (seven days) fishing for two rods for brown trout and grayling on the Nidderdale Angling Clubs waters on the River Nidd and Scar House Reservoir. This fishing is in the heart of the Nidderdale AONB with excellent accommodation and ready access to the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Details of the fishing will be made available by the Secretary of the Nidderdale AC.

(Starting price £50)

Lot 17 (Donated by A Lawson Esq.)

A day’s fly fishing for one rod on the Appletreewick Barden and Burnsall AC water on the R Wharfe and a bar lunch or evening meal at the New Inn, Appletreewick.

(Starting price £30)

Lot 18 (Donated by the Eden Rivers Trust)

A book of ten tokens for the Eden Rivers Trust “Go wild” angling passport scheme valued at £25; and an unframed map of the River Eden Salmon Pools. Bidders are advised to refer to to obtain the details of the passport scheme for fishing on 28 challenging wild trout beats on the River Eden system.

Guide price £50 (Starting price £25)

Lot 19 (Donated by Lord Crathorne)

A day’s flyfishing on the R Leven, a tributary of the Tees. The river meanders through the Crathorne Estate with a variety of inviting pools and runs. In parts it is a little overgrown but very attractive. Chest waders are advisable and an 8` or 8.5` fly rod would be ideal. About 2 miles of fishing is available and on the day would be solely for the guest.

(Starting price £25)

Lot 20 (Donated by Bolton Abbey Estate)

A day’s fishing for two rods on the Bolton Abbey Estate Fishery on the R Wharfe for brown trout and grayling to be taken in the 2012 season.

Guide price £120 (Starting price £60)

Lot 21 (Donated by James Fife, Esq. Langton Hall Estate)

A days trout fishing (fly only) for two rods on three miles of the River Swale downstream of Great Langton. The river is stocked with brown trout and the best months are usually May/June, when dry fly is ideal if the conditions are right.

Guide price £75 (Starting price £50)

Lot 22 (Donated by Humphrey Boyle, Esq.)

A day’s fishing on the Middleton Angling Club water in Ilkley. The Club vice president will meet by appointment and show the stretch and provide a simple picnic lunch.

Guide price £75 (Starting price £25)

Lot 23 (Donated by Tom Ramsden, Esq.)

One day’s woodland roe deer stalking near Ripon on a mutually convenient date to be arranged. An experienced rifle only, who should be a member of the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) or equivalent for insurance purposes.

Guide price £120 (Starting price £60)

Other attractive lots

Lot 24 (Donated by R C Compton Esq. Newby Hall)

A Family Season Ticket to Newby Hall and Gardens, Ripon admitting up to two adults and three children from Easter to October 2012. This most generous offer will allow the successful purchaser to make periodic visits to see the gardens and house at various times during the summer.

Guide price £60 (Starting price £30)

Lot 25 (Donated by Michael Fox, The Buck Inn, Thornton Watlass

A hearty Sunday lunch (£25 voucher) for two at the Buck Inn, Thornton Watlass, nr Bedale. The landlord will be pleased to advise when there is a home cricket match to watch after dining.

(Starting price £25.00)

Lot 26 (Donated by the Ripon Spa Hotel)

A voucher to the value of £67.80 for Sunday Lunch for 4 persons to be taken before 6th November 2012. This generous offer excludes Bank Holidays and some other days such as Mothers’ and Fathers’ Days.

(Starting price £50)

Lot 27 (Donated by the Ripon Spa Hotel)

Croquet Sundowners for up to 4 persons to be taken April to October 2012. An introduction to the game or a fun evening for more experienced players. Enjoy a croquet game, tuition with England Ranked Players, and Pimms and canap├ęs.

(Starting price £30)

Lot 28 (Donated by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society)

A voucher for a Family Day Ticket (admitting two adults and two/three children) to the Great Yorkshire Show to be held in Harrogate on 12th to 14th July 2012.

Guide price £58 (Starting price £40)

Lot 29 (Donated by Wensleydale Artists Robert Nicholls & Judith Bromley)

Robert Nicholls and Judith Bromley paint most beautiful pictures of Wensleydale wildlife (both flora and fauna) and landscapes. The buyer of this lot may, by appointment, select an unframed print of their choice from the artists’ studio in Askrigg.

Guide price £60 – £120 (Starting price £50)

Notes. By convention the description of river banks as left or right is when facing downstream.

Successful bidders are reminded that an EA rod licence is required before fishing in England.


Postal and email Auction 2012

Postal Bid Form

Postal bids are to be sent to Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust, East Farmhouse, Langthorne, Bedale, North Yorkshire. DL8 1PQ (email ) to arrive before 10.00 am on Thursday, 12 April 2012.

I have read the guidance and conditions of sale in the Yorkshire Dales River Trusts 2012 Auction Catalogue and make the following bids in accordance with these.

Name ………………………………………………………………

Signature …………………………………………………………….

Address and post code …………………………………………………………

Telephone number ………………………………… Email address …………………………………….

Lot number

Maximum bid (£)

Successful bidders will be notified by post during the week after the auction has closed. Payment is to be made by cheque payable to Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust. On receipt of payment the contact details of the donors will be provided.