In autumn 2019, we received funding, thanks to support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, for a major improvement project along the River Holme catchment.
Known as Holme Improvements, this year-long project was made possible by an award from Postcode Local Trust, a grant-giving charity funded entirely by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.
Through Holme Improvements we’ll work with local communities to transform green spaces throughout the River Holme catchment, approximately 20km of river. Throughout the year, we’ll be removing plastic waste from the river, controlling non-native invasive species, planting native hedges and trees to help with natural flood management, wildflower planting and education.
One of our main aims, here at River Holme Connections, is to improve the health of the River Holme and its tributaries. The Environment Agency has classified the River Holme as having ‘Moderate Ecological Status’. We want to help change this to ‘Good Ecological Status’ and the Holme Improvements project is a major step towards this goal.
Our River Steward, Simon Hirst, explained:
“The Holme Improvements project cuts to the heart of what our charity is all about. With the help of volunteers, we’ll work from the top of the catchment to the bottom, cleaning and clearing the river as we go. In total we will improve around 20 kilometres of river and riverbank. The result will be a more biodiverse, aesthetically pleasing environment that benefits wildlife and the communities through which the River Holme and its tributaries run.
“Our rivers play a crucial role in providing a healthy environment for wildlife and, in turn, for communities. Thanks to programmes such as Blue Planet, people are finally waking up to the fact that we need to take more care of our natural environment, for our own sake as well as to protect wildlife,” added Simon.
We have a base of dedicated volunteers who help with everything from river cleaning, invasive species removal, river mapping, river fly monitoring, wildflower growing and planting, and more. It’s hoped that the variety volunteering activities available throughout the Our Holme project, will encourage more people to volunteer with us.
As a legacy, we’ll be producing an educational video, showing the work we do and how everyone can help to make the River Holme better for people and wildlife.