The River Cover is a feeder tributary of the Ure, situated on the East side of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Its drains the local moors before flowing through a picturesque limestone dale, surrounded by ancient woodlands and characteristic extensive dales farms before making confluence with the River Ure 22km downstream.

Throughout the last century the upper reaches of the River Cover have been heavily modified and manipulated in an attempt to increase agricultural yield.  In conjunction with moorland drainage this has resulted in the river losing a lot of its natural characteristic. This has led to a river that is not reaching its ecological or hydro-morphologically potential. Moreover, due to drastic improvements in water quality in the tidal Ouse and Humber, since early 2000’s Salmon have dramatically increase in numbers within the Ouse system and therefore the River Cover has once again become an important spawning site for Salmon.

 Vision for the River Cover

The Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust believe by combining an initiative approach to flood risk management by slowing water down in upland area as well as improving river habitat for all aquatic life we can make a real difference that could be replicated in other similar areas. Together with the fantastic existing work already done in the area, including gripping and reducing stocking level, the upper Cover could be a flagship area.

 What we aim like to do

  •  The Project will look at increasing riparian tree cover within the catchment, the purpose being to keep rivers cool in summer temperatures by creating shading that will regulate temperature. Trees will also create cover for fish and other aquatic life and have the ability to hold water in upland areas.
  • Where the river has been heavily straighten in the past we aim to re-introduce the river back into its old channel, using natural cost effective methods such as Large Woody Debris (LWD) installation. We will look to install 7-10 channel flow deflectors.
  • Research the effect of LWD on ecological and hydro-morphological functioning.
  • Investigate what effect of re-introducing the river into its old channel has on water retention in upland areas and the possible outcome this has on flooding downstream






  • JBA Trust
  • Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust
  • We are currently looking for future funders to continue and expand the work