Science volunteers to monitor health of River Ure

The River Ure near Appersett. Photo: Les Hull.

A group of citizen science volunteers is being formed to assess the water quality of the River Ure.

An open meeting will be held in Leyburn Methodist Church Hall at 6pm on Tuesday, June 25 when it is planned to launch the River Ure group with the assistance of the Yorkshire Dales River Trust (YDRT).

The key speaker will be Charlotte Simons,  YDRT senior project manager.

The meeting will also be attended by Clare Beasant, Yorkshire Water’s river health improvement manager.

More than 35 people have already volunteered to help with water sampling from Appersett to Ripon, following the first Health of the River Ure meeting which took place earlier this year and was sponsored by the Association of Rural Communities.

The volunteers met in Leyburn on Friday to prepare for the launch of the group.

They were joined by David Clayden, chairman of the Nidd Action Group, who described how their group was set up. Information from the newly-formed Save Our Swale was also provided to the group.

At the meeting on Friday, it was claimed that local planning authorities, and especially the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, should be more proactive in protecting the rivers from pollution.

There was concern that the ageing treatment plants along the River Ure were already no longer able to cope with the amount of sewage and yet more housing estates and holiday lodge developments were being approved.

There was concern about how the dairy industry has changed within the Dale with cattle kept indoors for much of the year, generating large amounts of slurry that is spread on the flood plain and close to the river, with claims that there are already signs of green algae building up in the river this year.