Team working for the River Esk

Simon Hirst – River Esk Project Officer

The River Esk Volunteer Group was established at the start of the WREN funded Esk Pearl Mussel Recovery” project and have been going ever since. The aim of the project is to improve the habitats of the River Esk in order to secure the pearl mussel population and to increase the populations of salmon and trout in the River and its tributaries. By promoting river friendly land management within the catchment hopefully healthy river habitats will subsist into the future.

Our local volunteers carry out river restoration work* and at the same time learn about river habitats and species that depend on them.

Number of volunteer days (December 2011 to January 2015) = 389

Number of volunteer tasks (December 2011 to January 2015) = 62

Average number of volunteers per task = 6

* River clean-ups, River bank stabilisation, Willow spiling, Tree planting, Hedge planting, Fencing work, Leaky dam installation, Boardwalk repair, Track improvement, Drainage ditch modification, Conifer thinning, New Zealand pigmyweed control, Rhododendron control, Himalayan balsam control.

Here are a few photos of the River Esk Volunteers and other volunteers at work in the Esk catchment over the last few years. A big thank you to everyone.

4 thoughts on “Team working for the River Esk

  1. Its interesting to me that in that in every old photograph of the esk valley there are far, far fewer trees than there are today. (Sutcliffe pictures are good start)

    Rivers and streams were regularly used to water cattle and wash sheep, and until relatively recently farmers sowed more arable crops than they do now, so there was potentially more run off from the fields then. I’m not aware of any studies to show the numbers of pearl mussels in the river then but we make the assumption that water quality was perhaps better then, so the main focus now has been on bank stablisation, prevention of run off from fields and so on.

    Is there any evidence that all this will actually benefit the pearl mussel?

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