Photo: Mark Stevenson

In photos: River Aire fish pass work at Kirkstall Abbey

19 May 2020

Have you been wondering what all the work and noise is about on the River Aire at Kirkstall recently?

Work is continuing to gather pace on installing a fish pass for salmon in the River Aire at historic Kirkstall Abbey, which was founded 868 years ago today (19 May).

It’s all part of a £2.3 million scheme will see four fish passes – at Armley, Kirkstall, Newlay and Saltaire – installed during 2020.

The passes will allow those salmon which already get as far as Leeds to finally reach their spawning grounds upstream of Skipton.

Oliver Harmar, Yorkshire Area Director of the Environment Agency, said:

“Rivers such as the Aire, which was heavily polluted 30 years ago, are now home to a rich array of wildlife. The DNAire fish passes will enable salmon and coarse fish species to migrate upstream and provide fantastic opportunities for the River Aire to be enjoyed by everyone.”

The DNAire project aims to return the River Aire to the rich ecological habitat it was before the Industrial Revolution, where pollution from the district’s factories killed off many of the species in the river. It aims to attract more lampreys, eels and fish to the river.

Photographer Mark Stevenson captured some of the work in progress at Kirkstall:

kirkstall weir fish pass work 1
Photos: Mark Stevenson

Similar fish pass are already at St Ann’s Mill, to the east of Morrisons at Kirkstall, and Burley Mills.

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