Meet our Catchment Champions

A key role for the ACCP is to engage people and groups from across the region to help improve our precious water environments. The ACCP Catchment Champions are a group of individuals already working hard throughout the catchment to do this. They represent the 7 operational catchments that make up the Aire and Calder. These are the Upper Aire, Middle Aire, Lower Aire, Upper Calder, Middle Calder, Lower Calder and the Colne and Holme.

The Catchment Champions will provide a valuable link to local groups within the Aire and Calder catchment. Their role will be an integral part of realising the partnerships vision:

“A healthy and wildlife rich water environment within the Aire and Calder that is valued and enjoyed, bringing increased social and economic benefits to all”

For the next couple of months we will profile a different Catchment Champion each week, so that you can get to know the person representing your area! This week focuses on the Upper Aire Catchment Champion.

Upper Aire Catchment Champion – Don Vine

I have worked in the conservation sector for almost 30 years and for the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust for 15 of those. I have been privileged to work on the River Aire catchment for around 10 years especially as I was born and brought up in NW Leeds within spitting distance of one of the rivers tributaries in Horsforth.

Since 2011 I have helped manage the Upper Aire Project (UAP) alongside our partners at the Yorkshire Farming and Wildlife Partnership and the Environment Agency. The work of the UAP has been mainly focussed on water quality issues as determined by the EU Water Framework Directive looking at rural diffuse pollution and siltation and the implementation of appropriate interventions such as tree planting, willow spiling and fenced off buffer strips along the Upper Aire catchment including tributaries such as Otterburn, Earby and Eshton Becks as well as the main channel as far up as Malham. The project is working mainly with riparian landowners, including farmers and some large estates such as Broughton Hall and Flasby Estate, and we are not only offering practical help but also advice on land and nutrient management and helping prepare farm plans.

More recently we have been looking at Natural Flood Management opportunities on the Upper Aire, particularly in light of the Boxing Day floods on the Aire & Calder in 2016 and seeing how we can maximise the biodiversity benefits of these and our ongoing WFD works.

For more information

You can find out more about what’s going on in the Lower Calder Catchment by going to our Actionable Plan. Or if you have any queries, or want to find out how you can get involved in the area, then please get in touch – don.vine@ywt.org.uk