Kirkstall floods aftermath: Vote for group funding

31 October 2016

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A group of volunteers who are cleaning up the River Aire after the Boxing Day floods hit Kirkstall need your support to help continue their work.

For the past seven months Team Kirkstall has led the community’s fight back by running a series of volunteer days to clear more than 10 tonnes of debris, sewage and general rubbish which was washed down the Aire and on to the banks and surrounding green spaces.

Team Kirkstall has now applied for funding from the Aviva UK Community Fund to continue its work – but needs your votes to secure the money.

The group is aiming to raise more than £18,000 to continue to run clean ups and volunteer sessions, train community volunteers and buy vital equipment to help the clean-up and mantain the banks of the Aire.

dumped shopping trolleys river aire

A spokesperson said:

“Without efforts of local volunteers much of this rubbish would still be present blighting our landscape and affecting wildlife living along the Aire; including brown trout, kingfishers and otters.

“We are also tackling invasive species – Japanese knotweed, giant hogweed and Himalayan balsam which out-compete native species normally found on the river effecting our ecosystems and contributing to increased flood risk.”

Volunteers have so far been working with a specialist social enterprise who provided all necessary tools, PPE, insurance/technical support but this funding is ending at the end of this year.

The Aviva Community Fund offers you the chance to get funding for an important cause in your community.

Team Kirkstall, whose work is supported by the Environment Agency, can by supported by casting your vote on the Aviva Community Fund website.

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Dan says:

Is there an overall plan?
Without meaning any disrespect to the clear hard work they are doing, the video-clips they have posted do suggest they are not always approaching the task efficiently, though these are only a narrow window on the operation, so may be misleading.

More importantly though, what are the plans for dealing with the weeds?
If they are not approached with a decent strategy, then there is a good chance that the efforts will help to spread the weeds.
How are they dealing with the waste?
On the one hand, it is all good biomass, but it is clearly impractical to transport it away and simply composting on site would hinder the eradication…
I’d suggest we look into anaerobic digestion which would produce useable gas: digesters need not be big or complicated and could perhaps be installed as necessary to deal with the problem and removed once the job is complete.