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We're investing in our waste water treatment works to help create more natural river environments so a wider variety of fish and wildlife can thrive.

Our work will help Yorkshire's cities and towns rediscover their river heritage and benefit local people and tourists.

What we're doing

We're investing more than £227 million to improve almost 250 miles of rivers in south and west Yorkshire - enough river to stretch from Sheffield to Brighton.

The investment is part of the Freshwater Fish Directive which aims to protect or improve the quality of fresh water so that it can support fish life.

Our work involves upgrading some of Yorkshire's largest waste water treatment works, including Esholt, which serves Bradford; and Knostrop, which serves Leeds. Our work will lead to a reduction in ammonia levels discharged from our works. We're also working at our waste water treatment works at Aldwarke, Halifax, Harrogate, Huddersfield, Lemonroyd, Dewsbury, Mexborough, Neiley, Thorne, Tupton, Wath-on-Dearne, Willianthorpe and Wrangbrook  - our local improvement pages provide more information about some of these projects.

River walks River walk

Riverlife is also about putting rivers back at the heart of Yorkshire communities and encouraging people to get out into the great outdoors. We've developed four Riverlife walks to get you started.  

Download River Aire walk (364kb)

Download River Dearne walk (542 kb)

Download River Don walk (477kb)

Download River Ryburn walk (477kb)

Helping fish take a break Fish Pass

We created a fish pass on the River Worth in Keighley to help trout and grayling swim up the river. We worked closely with the Environment Agency and Mott MacDonald Bentley to create the resting place for weary fish. Large boulders and smaller rocks were placed on the weir to create a string of calm water pools which allow trout and grayling to rest before jumping to the next pool. They eventually emerge above the weir to swim further upstream.

The fish pass supports our investment to improve the quality of the storm overflows further upstream, ensuring a healthier environment for the fish as they move up the River Worth. The fish pass is a great example of how we link our work to improve the rivers with some extra work to improve the environment for people (and fish!) to enjoy.

Lundwood case studyIan McMillan at Lundwood

When you think about opening a waste water treatment works following an £8 million upgrade, acclaimed bard Ian McMillan might not be the first person you'd turn to - but that's exactly who we asked for help!

To celebrate the completion of work at Lundwood, Ian spent time at Littleworth Grange Primary Learning Centre where he held a poetry workshop.  He then launched a competition for pupils to complete a poem based on the first two lines penned by Ian himself.  Entries were received from 60 children and the winning poem, written by Alexandra Robinson was included on the new sign for the works.  


River Aire walk (364 kb)

River Dearne walk (542 kb)

River Don walk (477kb)

River Ryburn walk (201 kb)  

Related Information

Environment Agency website

If you'd like to know more about the Freshwater Fish Directive, you might find the Environment Agency's website of interest.

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