For the past 5 years we have been operating across the catchment of the River Holme and its tributaries. This means from the moors in the Peak District down in to Huddersfield and including Meltham. Not all of this work will have been noticed, although the creation of the seating area at Meltham Pleasure Grounds (MPG) in partnership with the Friends of Meltham Pleasure Grounds is very visible. Also in that area we have planted hundreds of native wild flowers, a new native hedgerow, and installed bird and bat boxes. You might have seen some new sign posts indicating walking routes. We have just launched a new walk entitled Meltham – Pleasure Ground, Mill Town, Moorland. This is available free either as a hard copy from Crossroads and the Meltham post office or to download from our website (www.riverholmeconnections.org/explore)
There has been a programme to remove invasive non-native species (INNS) along Meltham Dike and this work will continue. A lot of this activity has taken place near the Meltham scout hut, which had large infestations of Himalayan balsam and Japanese knotweed, but also in MPG where American skunk cabbage was thriving in the old dam.
Volunteers from across the catchment have been growing native wild flowers from locally collected seeds, and these will be planted along the river corridors to support native wildlife.
The water quality of the rivers and streams is important both for our own health and to support many animals and plant. We have been monitoring river invertebrates throughout the catchment. River invertebrates are useful indicator organisms, which help us understand the water quality of our river systems. The quality of water in the rivers is also affected by run off from the land after heavy rain in particular and with the changes in weather patterns due to global warming the incidence of storms and localised flooding will become more prevalent. We are therefore working with various partners including Kirklees MBC, the Environment Agency and Yorkshire Water to improve this situation and that includes planting thousands of trees and new native hedgerows. This has been the case around Meltham for the last couple of years, and this winter will include a further 1,400 trees near the Catch as part of the White Rose Forest “Trees for climate” project and a further 14,000 new hedge plants (2,330 metres of new hedge) at a site adjacent to Thick Hollins Road.
Follow our social media and check our website for further updates on this project.