Our new Catchment Champion Nick Milsom – Mid Aire

I would like to introduce myself to you all, I am Nick Milsom and I have recently been appointed ACCP Catchment Champion for the Mid Aire. I joined the Aire Rivers Trust as Project Officer in February. My role is to create a sustainable and active network of citizens looking after Bradford’s rivers and supporting flood risk and resilience activities. We will achieve this by creating or supporting groups in different areas; engage with local business owners to get them involved in River Stewardship. In the longer term I will also develop natural flood management projects for landowners which combine flood resilience with environmental improvements.

I am delighted to be working with ART and feel my previous roles will prove useful experience. For the last 13 years I have been employed delivering projects in practical countryside management, outdoor activities and community development in the voluntary sector. Since 2014 working for the Harrogate based charity Open Country and between 2004 and 2014 with Bradford Environmental Education Service. For the previous 10 years I was employed by Bradford Council as an Environmental Health Officer. I started my involvement in nature conservation work in 1984 with BTCV and had various roles including Long Term Volunteer, Natural Break leader, ran a local group and a chainsaw operator.

I continue my interest outside of work. I am Chair of Bradford Apple Group and help to run the popular Apple Day event. I attend BEES residentials and enjoy putting into practice various countryside skills like woodland management, hedge laying, drystone walling and tree planting. I have taught Forest Schools to young people. These activities have a positive effect on myself and the other people involved.

I believe we are at a watershed moment for the environment. Awareness and positive engagement is increasing all the time as we comprehend human impact on the planet. With that in mind I feel that it is important to keep engaging new interest from the community and young people. We all have a role to help protect and conserve the environment, while encouraging people from different backgrounds to enjoy and understand how special it is. I firmly believe that ACCP is in the best place to bring these elements together.

I am particularly interested to develop my knowledge in engaging with Riparian Landowners, Natural Flood Management schemes and the New Rules for Farming. I would welcome any of any advice, training or visits to successful projects that are available.

I look forward to working with as many people as possible and to achieve the aims of Aire Rivers Trust and the Aire and Calder Catchment Partnership.