Photos: Volunteers’ River Aire clean-up in Kirkstall


Eight months after the Boxing Day floods left parts of Kirkstall under several feet of water, the community clean-up is still going strong.

Members of Team Kirkstall are undertaking a series of volunteer-led community clean-ups of the River Aire. Next clean-up is on Saturday, September 3.

Here are some photos and Tweets from Saturday’s clean-up, which saw 25 volunteers taking part:

Gravel and silt removed in Kirkstall

The Environment Agency has started an £800,000 programme of work on the rivers Aire and Worth to remove gravel and silt deposited by the winter floods.

The deposits, known as shoals, built up in the rivers during the flooding as large volumes of water picked up debris and distributed it along the river system.

The shoals increase the likelihood of flooding in the future as they reduce the width of the river channel and create blockages under bridges.

Two clearing teams are expected to take around four weeks to clear the debris at 10 sites along the rivers, including sites in Kirkstall, Keighley, Cottingley, Bingley, Silsden, and Earby.

Lee Riley-Thompson, working in asset recovery at the Environment Agency, said:

“Since the winter flooding we have been working hard to inspect and repair damaged defences across the region. Removing these gravel deposits will further reduce flood risk to communities in and around Bradford and Keighley.

“We have worked closely with our biodiversity team in order to minimise any potential impact the removal of the shoals may have on fish and wildlife in the area. Carrying out the work this month is an ideal time to avoid fish spawning periods and the bird nesting season.”


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