If you’re a regular reader of the blog you’ll know how much we love getting outdoors and enjoying nature as a family. Whether it’s exploring our amazing countryside, helping our native wildlife or just a good old stick hunt, outdoor adventures are a big part of family life for us. They’re also a brilliant way to encourage the kids to learn about and care for our environment.
It’s always great to see organisations making positive changes to help support local wildlife and biodiversity, and this week I’ve been learning about just such an initiative from Yorkshire Water.
Yorkshire Water are one of the largest landowners in Yorkshire, and as such they’re committed to protecting and enhancing biodiversity in the region. To help improve fish preservation and river biodiversity, Yorkshire Water are introducing three Fish Pass schemes. You’re probably thinking “What’s a Fish Pass?” – I had never heard of them before either – so here’s a bit of an explanation.
Salmon and trout are genetically programmed to swim as far upstream as possible to breed, but many of our rivers have steep man-made weirs or reservoirs which create a barrier that prevents them from doing so. A Fish Pass provides a more sloping channel and slower water speeds, helping fish to swim upstream and reach their breeding grounds, as well as resting pools which they can stop off in on the way.
This infographic explains a bit more about fish passes and how they work.
The three sites for the fish passes are Langsett Reservoir near Stocksbridge, Jordan Dam on the River Don near Blackburn Meadows Nature Reserve, and Wharncliffe Side on the River Don in Sheffield. Work will be completed by the time brown trout are migrating upstream to breed, so the local fish will start to benefit from the scheme straight away. As well as being a really positive change for the fish population, it’s going to be fabulous to take a family walk along the river and see lots of fish as they make their journey upstream.
There’s more good news too. The three Fish Pass schemes are just the first phase of the programme, with a total of 14 new fish passes planned between now and 2020.
Well done to Yorkshire Water for funding and managing this initiative, I think it’s a great example of an organisation taking responsibility for supporting nature and helping to preserve our fantastic native wildlife.
Head over to the Yorkshire Water website to find out more about the fish pass schemes and Yorkshire Water’s conservation plans.
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This is a collaborative post with Yorkshire Water.