Transforming Clifton Beck with help of local community

Volunteers take water samples at Clifton Beck
Volunteers take water samples at Clifton Beck

The Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and local people in Brighouse are working restore the ailing Clifton Beck, with the aim of turning it in to a wildlife haven.

Focusing their efforts at three key sites, Trust employees and volunteers are improving woodland, creating green corridors for wild creatures and making a safe space for local nature lovers to experience the area.

Clifton Beck had previously been designated as one of the poorest functioning rivers in the UK.

Last year, the Heritage Lottery Fund awarded Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and partners over £74,000 to restore it, with the aim of giving wildlife more space to recover, improving biodiversity and helping the community to recognise the value of their local environment.

In June and July, swathes of Himalayan Balsam were pulled out from the banks to stop this invasive species from setting seed and spreading further in to our precious countryside.

As well as pulling invasive species out, teams have been working hard to put more useful species in. Volunteers have also been collecting water samples each month to record the number and type of species present – valuable data which will help to shape conservation work in the future.

Project officer Seonaidh Jamieson said: “Over the coming months we’ll be undertaking woodland management and creating new wildlife corridors, as well as continuing our invasive species removal work.

“The next challenge for the team is to improve access from Wellhome Park in Brighouse, creating a safe area for families to get close to the beck and spot all of the wildlife it has to offer.

“Our volunteers have done a fantastic job so far but we still have so much more to do and need more people to get involved.”

Anyone who would like to get involved with the project can contact Seonaidh Jamieson at seonaidh.jamieson@ywt.org.uk or on 01484 663185.