Ure River

Getting local communities involved in monitoring our rivers

We know how lucky we are to have the River Ure on our doorstep and the Heritage Lottery funded ‘Ure River’ project gives us a chance to celebrate it and ensure the river is safeguarded for years to come.

On its 26 mile journey through the dale, the River Ure has shaped the history, landscape and culture of Wensleydale since the first settlers buily villages on stilts in Semer Water lake in 4000 BC. From the Iron age onwards farming communities settled in Wensleydale making use of the river water and the fertile floodplains. 

Today the river underpins the success of a wide variety of businesses including the world-famous creamery in Hawes, breweries, beef and sheep agriculture and water mills. There are also loads of recreation opportunities on the river from visiting its waterfalls to riverside walks and some of the best fly fishing in the country. And that’s not to mention the fact that the River Ure is home to lots of fantastic and rare species including river lamprey, salmon, white clawed crayfish, salmon, wading birds, kingfishers and otters. 

The River Ure is a special place and we want to encourage people to enjoy and protect it. Currently the river and its wildlife are at risk from climatic change, historic lead mine pollution, agricultural runoff, sewage inputs and invasive species. There is anecdotal evidence from local people and angling clubs that fish numbers are declining, water quality is worsening and floods are getting more frequent, but there is not enough scientific evidence to determine why these changes are occurring.

Through the Ure River project, 20 local people are monitoring the condition and water quality throughout the year to determine where and when it is not as good as it should be. The results from this will allow us to identify what work needs to be done to safeguard the river for the future. 

We’ve been running events so people can get to know their river:

– Visits to Leyburn and Masham primary schools

– Visit to Leyburn beavers, cubs and scouts

– Wild Wednesdays river dipping at Aysgarth falls

– Wensleydale show with our river table

Look out forlots more events in 2017!