Discover the river on your doorstep in West Leeds

river aire walks

An online hub of riverside walks will celebrate project that will see Atlantic salmon return to the River Aire after an absence of over 150 years.

Volunteers and staff from The Aire Rivers Trust have used their spare time over the summer to research the history of their local river and have written a series of walks that are designed to highlight the River Aire’s wealth of history and wildlife.

The self-guided walks take you from haunted pubs by the river in Leeds to Victorian swimming galas in Kildwick.

Each walk is downloadable from the Developing the Natural Aire website ( and is just one of the ways the group is encouraging new visitors to the river over the next two years.

Leeds Industrial Museum Armley Mills is hosting an exhibition until the end of October, focusing on the history of the River Aire as work continues on the weir to build a fish pass that will enable the iconic Atlantic salmon to once again spawn in the river.

Simon Watts, the Aire River Trust’s community engagement manager, said:

“The River Aire is a fantastic green and blue ribbon that binds our communities together. The towns and villages along the river have so much shared history. It has been a real joy writing and editing the walk. I’ve found fascinating stories I never knew about. I’d love to see people discovering their local stretch of river and then heading out to find new places.”

Developing the Natural Aire is a partnership project between the Aire Rivers Trust and the Environment Agency with funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Yorkshire Water and Craven Council.

It will see the completion of four fish passes in Leeds and Bradford in 2020 – Armley Mills, Kirkstall Abbey, Newlay Bridge and Saltaire – together with volunteer days, school visits and community events over the next two years.

There are eight self-guided walks at:

  • Carleton-In-Craven
  • Kildwick
  • Bingley
  • Saltaire
  • Apperley Bridge
  • Newlay
  • Kirkstall Valley
  • Leeds city centre


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