Conservation of River Ure to be discussed at public meeting

Aysgarth Falls.

A public meeting will be held next week to discuss ways of protecting the River Ure.

The Association of Rural Communities is sponsoring the event in Leyburn Methodist Church Hall at 7.30pm on Tuesday, April 30.

The meeting will focus on the River Ure and its tributaries between Appersett and Masham.

The association said it was hearing about regular sewage discharges into the river and the becks, as well as a drop in the number of fish.

The group says it wants to collect reliable evidence to identify where the problems are and what is causing them.

Its chairman, Alastair Dinsdale raised the issue at the November meeting of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s planning committee.

He said he was very concerned about the sewerage treatment plant at Aysgarth Falls which discharges directly into the river above the Middle Falls.

“There is anecdotal evidence that this is at capacity,” he said.

He told the YDNPA planning committee: “These plants work on bacteria and will not work with amounts of fats, oils, cleaning chemicals, disinfectants.

“According to the Environment Agency the Upper Dales Yore Catchment has a problem with phosphate pollution, the cause of algae blooms.

“Phosphates are a major ingredient of cleaning products and probably responsible for 90% of the problem in the catchment due to outdated and ineffective sewerage plants.”

There will be a presentation by the Yorkshire Dales River Trust at the meeting on Tuesday to explain how volunteers can be safely involved in water sampling and protecting the river.

Its volunteer and engagement officer, Jenny Lee, said: “Our rivers have suffered from acute loss of species and habitat, and toxic pollution – a perilous situation being further compounded by the impact of climate change.”

There will also be a short presentation by a YDNPA farm conservation advisor about catchment-sensitive farming and the authority’s work on the Ure, plus reports by local residents about sewage discharges and fish numbers.

It is planned to launch a group similar to the recently launched Save our Swale.

1 Comment

  1. I have witness otter in the part of the ure ‘ and can tell you exactly why the fish are dwindling downward. I’m sure this environmental experiment is acceptable. As for flooding’ building back up the dristone walls that are currently covering the riverbed particularly in Appersett would help keep the water in the river And enable the fish to be able to actually feed from the bottom of the river.

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