Baildon Bridge flood clean-up project

Article dated Thursday Aug 24, 2017 at 04:31 PM

Bradford Council is working with the Environment Agency, Yorkshire Water and the Aire Rivers Trust to encourage landowners and businesses along the River Aire to fulfil their responsibilities and work with them to carry out further debris clearance on the banks of the river which was deposited during the Boxing Day floods of 2015.

The Bradford Flood programme Board has been working with organisations and local communities to clear debris along the banks of the river and now wants to extend that work to help the local businesses and landowners along the river to carry out their responsibilities in looking after the river and its banks.

Many locations have now either been cleared or are being tackled through a stewardship programme but there is still debris to be cleared along the river particularly downstream of Baildon Bridge.

The project will be run in partnership with the Environment Agency, Bradford Council, Yorkshire Water and the Aire Rivers Trust.

Due to the nature of the required clean up and access to the steep sided river bank the work will mainly need to be completed by a specialist technical contractor.

The project will start with representatives of Bradford Council, the Environment Agency and Yorkshire Water meeting with local businesses to begin the clean-up operation.

There will then be a series of eight contractor led events and a further volunteer event with local businesses delivered by the River Stewardship Company over the coming months to carry out clean-up work along the river.

Coun Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Environment, Sport and Culture, said: "We have been working really hard with partners to clear the huge amount of debris that was deposited along this stretch of the River Aire during the Boxing Day floods.

"We now want to extend this work and help local businesses and landowners with the responsibilities that they have for looking after the river and its banks."

Jenny Barlow, Flood and Coastal Risk Management Officer at the Environment Agency, said: “Since the devastation of the 2015 floods there has been a large-scale clean-up effort along urban watercourses across Yorkshire by multiple organisations and teams of volunteers, to help remove large amounts of debris and litter which was left behind by the flood waters.

“We have had a fantastic response from local people and organisations who want to help improve this stretch of the River Aire, which shows the great enthusiasm people have to make the environment better for people and wildlife. River stewardship events like these river clean-ups are where local communities and businesses play an essential part to make a big difference for their local environment.”

Leah Humphries, Flood Risk and Engagement Engineer at Yorkshire Water, said: “Since the December 2015 floods, Yorkshire Water has been working with communities across the region to help clean up local rivers. As a local business and a member of the Bradford Flood Programme Board, we want to continue to support affected communities and river stewardship. We hope to encourage other local businesses to get on board and help clean up the River Aire.”

Barney Lerner from the Aire Rivers Trust, said: "There was an enormous effort by local volunteers to clean-up the banks of the Aire in 2016 (the Aire Debris Removal Initiative) but they couldn't tackle any of the heavy litter in the river itself. So it’s great that we are now all going to work together this year to get those old washing machines and other junk out!"

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