Bradford benefits from restoration of its beck to encourage more wildlife

Visitors to a Bradford beauty spot will benefit from the results of a three-year project to restore biodiversity.

The Shipley stretch of Bradford Beck has been under improvement since 2018, with a range of measures to improve its natural ecology and improve habitats for wildlife. Photo: Environment Agency

The Shipley stretch of Bradford Beck has been under improvement since 2018, with a range of measures to improve its natural ecology and improve habitats for wildlife.

Rolls of natural fibre have been attached to the edges of the beck to help establish riverside plants and create varied habitats for fish and invertebrate species, and a new path has been built to allow the public to enjoy sightings of herons, ducks and fish.

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New trees have also been planted to tackle climate change, and weirs and structures under road bridges at four locations were modified with wooden baffles which slow the flow and increase the depth of water to help fish including trout, bullheads, stone loaches minnows and eels to swim upstream more easily from the River Aire.

The restoration project was led by the Environment Agency, in partnership with Bradford City Council, Friends of Bradford Beck and the Wild Trout Trust.

Ineke Jackson, project manager at the Environment Agency said: “We’re excited to create more room for nature in this very urbanised section of Bradford Beck.

“As it flows through Shipley, the beck is enclosed in very steep banks. These works aim to let the beck flow more naturally within the available space and help both people and wildlife make the most of their local river.

“We’re now making plans with our partners to further improve the environment of Bradford Beck and its tributaries in the coming years.”