Save The Ribble

A blog dedicated to preserving the beauty and delicate ecosystem of the River Ribble, and opposing the Riverworks 'vision' to build a barrage on our River and develop on our riverbanks, floodplains and green spaces, causing damage to wildlife and the environment and increasing the risk of flooding to our homes. Save the Ribble Campaign is not responsible for the content of external blogs or websites which link here.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Council Votes To Ignore Flood Risk to Preston Residents

Preston City Council has voted today by 28 votes to 25 AGAINST a motion from Riversway Councillor Jack Davenport to "suspend further work on Riverworks until the flood risk assessment can be completed" - this assessment, due out next month, looks at the flood risk posed to existing houses by the river, such as those in Walton Le Dale, Frenchwood, Broadgate and Penwortham.

Jack Davenport argued that "Flooding concerns are more important than Riverworks and suspending work shows that we are taking the flood concerns seriously, there will be no cost to us if we delay the work in favour of making sure our residents are safe and protected"

Mayor Christine Abram, said the matter could be dealt with at the next full council meeting on October 18. Coun Davenport, said: "Better hope it doesn't flood before that, Christine."

Lancashire Evening Post Coverage Here

74% of local people voted AGAINST the idea of the Riverworks Ribble barrage and housing plans in a recent LEP poll,

By voting to oppose this motion, the council has shown that it puts the wishes of those greedy developers behind the Riverworks Barrage and Housing proposals ahead of the interests of local people, and ahead even of the need to protect local people from the flood risks in the area, exacerbated by our increasingly wet weather and our old and shoddy flood defences, a flood risk that would be greatly increased by building a barrage across the Ribble, and thousands of houses in it's flood plain, as is suggested in the Riverworks proposals.

It seems that since developers stand to make £millions from this irresponsible scheme, the council is not going to let things like the flood risk to local people stand in their way.

What is encouraging is that 25 councillors ARE now concerned about the threat of floods, and we hope that this number will increase as local people continue to show their opposition to this deeply irresponsible assault on our environment, and on the safety and quality of life of local residents.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Riverworks Bizarre Floating Homes Plan

Preston City Councils latest bizarre idea for our green belt is to build floating homes on the banks of the River Ribble.

The Lancashire Evening Post (LEP ‘Floating Homes’ Planned for City 28/8/07) revealed that a London based company, NGM Sustainable Developments, had met with officers from Preston City Council to discuss the possibility of building floating homes along the banks of the Ribble in Penwortham and Preston.

The homes, which have been pioneered in Holland, apparently remain unaffected by flooding because they can float on top of water and can withstand water level rises of up to four metres.

Councillor Hudson, leader of Preston City Council, welcomed the floating homes as a “very good idea”, while Mike Brogan, the Council’s director for regeneration, admitted that they were looking at technology for new types of housing on water and waterside areas.

Floating homes might indeed be a good idea in Holland where most of the country is below sea level, but why should Preston City Council think we need floating houses in our area? - Particularly as they have previously insisted to local residents (incorrectly) that other key proposal of Riverworks – a barrage on the River – would make flooding less not more likely...?

There are of course thousands of people in Britain who might have been glad to live in floating homes when their towns were inundated with floodwaters earlier in the summer. But let’s not forget that the extensive flooding that has occurred in Yorkshire and other areas this year is known to have been caused by a combination of heavy rainfall and years of building and development on floodplain! – which is of course precisely what Preston City Council’s Riverworks is proposing for the floodplain and green belt areas of Penwortham.

Whilst this perhaps answers the question of why Preston City Council is now suggesting the idea of floating homes as part of their Riverworks initiative to build homes and businesses on our floodplain and green belt – since their very own plans will make flooding even more likely in the area – what about the rest of us? Building on the floodplain – whether the new riverside homes can float or not – STILL INCREASES FLOODRISK FOR THE ALREADY EXISTING HOMES IN LOWER PENWORTHAM AND SOUTH PRESTON!!
If they build on the floodplain, it will no longer be able to work AS floodplain, which is why the Environment Agency are warning against ANY further building on floodplain as this not only puts the new homes at risk of flooding, but increases flooding elsewhere.

The Ribble floodplain operates by soaking up the excess rainfall and releasing it slowly into the River at low tide – as well as coping with the high river waters which heavy rains or high tides bring. If you cover the floodplain with concrete roads, driveways, patios, carparks, and homes (whether floatable or not), the ground is no longer able to act as a sponge, leaving that water as running floodwaters, plus the surface run-off from concrete during heavy rains is much faster and consequently more dangerous.

Local Ribbleside residents have been relieved this summer that our floodplain areas have coped well with the excess rainfall – and a walk on the Penwortham Green Belt will show just how much water this land is still holding even now.



We were of course also extremely fortunate that the flash floods in Broadgate and Penwortham coincided with low tide - flash floods which would themselves have been considerably worse if we did not have our floodplain busily soaking up many thousands of gallons of these rainwaters as they fell.



That the Council wants to factor the floating homes idea into the brief for Riverworks suggests that they may already be concerned about the feasibility of building on our floodplain – particularly after a summer of local and national flooding and clear evidence from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology that the Ribble is already at increased risk of flooding this Autumn due to more heavy rainfall being expected over the coming weeks.
Of course floating homes might be the solution for those fortunate enough to live in them. But for the rest of us it won’t matter whether the proposed new Riverside homes can float or not – building on the floodplain will increase the risk of flooding to us all.

Floating homes on the Docks is another matter – but along the riverbanks would STILL involve building on the Ribble floodplain. Perhaps Preston City Council, as part of its Riverworks proposals, would like to factor in some ideas and technology that could be used to float all homes in the area in the event of the inevitable floods that will occur if they continue with their dangerous plan of building on our floodplain?

Or perhaps they will finally see sense and spend the many millions this would cost on our woefully inadequate flood defences in Broadgate and on the areas of Preston that really could do with some hard cash input - and leave the floodplain undeveloped so it can get on with what it does best: helping to protect our communities from flooding?

Read more about the new Increased Floodrisk Alert for the Ribble;

and Why our Flood Defences need urgent repairs NOW;

and Why a Ribble Barrage & Floodplain Developments will be Disastrous for our Environment.

Contact us at savetheribble@tiscali.co.uk

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Anglers Threaten Legal Action Over Ribble Barrage

Anglers are getting increasingly angry about the way Preston City Vision Board and Preston City Council are pushing forward their proposals for a barrage across the Ribble.

Ian, who works as a River Keeper on the Ribble, said in his blog "Keeper's Blog "
It's good to note the very robust attitude that the Ribble Fisheries Consultative have taken with Preston Council over this issue. The Council's Chief Exec has been left in no doubt about the strength of feeling amongst anglers that the barrage will be hugely detrimental to the river environment and that RFC will take legal action should the council proceed with its plans.


He continues
As things stand at present the plan is to conduct a feasibility study to determine cost and environmental impact and any decision about building the barrage will be taken in the light of the findings of this study. The problem is that we don't know the criteria on which the council will base their decision such as what is acceptable cost and what environmental damage will be tolerated. If this project goes ahead it could have disastrous consequences for Ribble salmon and sea trout as well as affecting course fish below Settle. Anyone with concerns about the scheme should write to the
Chief Exec of Preston Council.

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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Ribble Increased Floodrisk Alert for Autumn and Winter

The River Ribble is at "an increased risk of flooding" over the next six months, through Autumn and into Winter.

This increased floodrisk is due to the high levels of rainfall we are experiencing this year, which has had the effect of saturating the Ribble's floodplains pretty much to capacity with no prospect of drying out before the wet Autumn that forecasters are predicting begins.

The extraordinarily high levels of rain that have already fallen this Summer are 200% above the average from May to July, making the ground saturated throughout the Ribble corridor, particularly on the low-lying floodplains.

These figures have been released by the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, whose statistics also show that:

'the speed of the River Ribble is 465% faster than average and that the water saturated in the soil is at an exceptionally high level.' according to This Is Lancashire.

Ribbleside residents are eternally grateful for our floodplain areas which have protected our communities from the serious floods which have affected so many areas so far this year, and for our free-flowing River which drains all that rainwater away (the Ribble being at low tide during local episodes of flash-floods in Preston and Penwortham meant the floodwaters were drained quickly), but it seems that the threat is not over. The already saturated ground will not be able to hold much more of the predicted high levels of rainfall expected over the Autumn and Winter months, which means that the Ribble will be at "an increased risk of flooding" during the coming months as the floodplains will struggle to cope.


Flash floods earlier this summer in Middleforth, Penwortham and Broadgate, Preston.

As Save The Ribble have pointed out, the Flood Defences in the Broadgate area are in a woeful state of repair and we need Preston City Council to spend money on repairing our essential flood defences NOT on funding feasability studies for barrages and floodplain building developments which will ruin our environment and actually INCREASE OUR RISK OF FLOODING.


Broadgate during high rainfall and a speeding Ribble surging past those fragile post-and-panel defences.


According to This Is Lancashire, 'The Environment Agency has already given "an enhanced flood risk" warning to all of England and Wales, and with forecasters predicting a wet autumn the Ribble looks set to have another record breaking season, which can only be bad news for residents on the Ribble floodplains.'

The Centre for Ecology and Hydrology summarise their findings:
'The Monthly Hydrological Summary for the UK, published today [15th August 2007], includes an analysis of the unprecedented summer flooding. The wettest May-July period for England & Wales in a record from 1767 resulted in near-saturated soil conditions and river flows more typical of a notably wet winter, with extensive floodplain inundations in both June and July. In the July Hydrological Summary, scientists at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and the British Geological Survey provide a detailed appraisal of a summer flood episode that has no close modern parallel.'

This Is Lancashire report that the the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology statistics show 'the speed of the River Ribble is 465% faster than average and that the water saturated in the soil is at an exceptionally high level.'

Spokesman for the CEH Barnaby Smith told This Is Lancashire that "The soils are extremely wet in comparison with previous summer months and with more rain predicted it is unlikely soils will dry out. We are going to get more floods. The River Ribble will be vulnerable to winter floods over the next six months."'



Ian Rowland, Flood Risk Manager for the Environment Agency told This Is Lancashire that "We are dealing with a force of nature here and you can never say never to a flood occurring. We can only manage the risks.

"However we do monitor flood levels throughout the year and try to attain the strongest possible idea of whether a river will flood.

"In the event of a flood we ensure the river is put on high alert and flood warnings are sent out to the local media."

'It will depend on weather patterns throughout the winter months if the Ribble breeches its banks however some of the causes of flooding are already in place along much of the Ribble.

The Environment Agency encourages those who believe they are at a serious risk flooding of flooding to call the Floodline on 0845988188 or visit www.environment-agency.gov.uk, and sign up for direct flood warnings.' (This Is Lancashire)


For more on issues of flooding and the Ribble see:
the Dangers of Riverworks;
Why A Barrage Will Increase Ribble Floodrisk;
Why building on the Penwortham Green Belt will increase floodrisk;
and why the Environment Agency are opposed to further developments on floodplain.

You can read the This Is Lancashire story here.

You can contact us at savetheribble@tiscali.co.uk

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Green Belt Facing New Threat - Greater Protection is Needed NOW

The Social Market Foundation (SMF) think-tank has published a study which claims that of the Government's pledge for 3 million new homes in Britain by 2020 "almost 2 million homes would need to be built on non-previously developed land".

According to the BBC News, the SMF claim that 'the green belt, which was planned to prevent urban sprawl, contains ex-industrial sites and scrubland and "was not as green as people believe"'.

As such, the SMF 'suggests there may be a case for reconsidering the future of the green belt which often protects "neither wildlife nor areas of outstanding beauty".

The Green Belt is "not as green as people believe"? What utter nonsense!

As has been well recognised for many years, Green Belt of all kinds in many different landscapes and both rural and urban areas serves an important function for wildlife and for people. Green Belt also plays a crucial role in ensuring the sustainability of our communities. Yes, Green Belt areas DO also include areas of the country which are not designated as being of Outstanding Natural Beauty (ONB) but this does not mean they are NOT beautiful in their own distinctive way, nor does it mean that they are therefore worthless.


The much-loved Green Belt area in Penwortham, South Ribble - just a few minutes walk from Penwortham Town Centre and Preston City Centre. There are meadows and woodlands, allotments and sports fields, in a precious stretch of Green Belt which links the urban areas of South Ribble and Preston - providing vital and ACCESSIBLE quality open green spaces and fresh air and sheer beauty to a large number of local people from diverse backgrounds and communities.


A close-up of Preston City Council's Composite Masterplan, showing the new developments being muted in pink - all over our meadows, woodlands, allotments and sports fields. The Riverworks proposals include a large urban development on the core area of Green Belt - leaving a small pocket which would be formalised into a park opposite Preston's Avenham & Miller Parks.


As local people are also aware, this area of Green Belt is also operational floodplain, and as such, also protects our communities from flooding - taking all that rainfall to which we are prone safely down to the sea! As such, we suffer from flooding only very rarely, and despite this summer's unprecedented levels of rainfall, we have been fortunate in only having relatively minor local floods which the River Ribble has quickly drained.

As all of this Green Belt is also operational floodplain - which the Environment Agency strongly advise should NOT be developed - this area is clearly inappropriate for development even without considering its huge value to the biodiversity of the River Ribble corridor and to the quality of life of local people!

As Richard Bate from planning consultants Green Balance recognises, the Green Belt serves 'a number of crucial purposes' and "Simply letting the market rip in areas where it would like to go - very often in green belt areas - won't necessarily put development in the places that will do the most good for everybody in town and country alike".

Housing and Planning Minister Baroness Andrews told the BBC that 'the government believed it was possible to build the homes needed by future generations while protecting the environment and green spaces.'

The Government needs to back up this statement - and therefore their own policies regarding development, biodiversity, and the health, well-being and quality of life of British citizens by ACTING TO STRENGTHEN THE PROTECTION OF GREEN BELT AREAS NOW.

The UK Government has already pledged itself to following the principles of sustainable development - which means ensuring that our development does NOT have adverse impacts on the future environmental as well as economic sustainability of our environment and our communities - it does NOT mean ensuring a sustained rate of economic development.

This means that developers and planners need to start being more imaginative in terms of how and where new developments take place - continuing to chip away at our valuable green spaces is not the answer. Affordable housing needs to REMAIN affordable; ALL citizens should have free and easy access to quality open green spaces, including woodlands and meadows and rivers, allotments, sports pitches, and clean fresh air and the sounds and sights of birds and insects and trees and flowers - and freely-flowing Rivers!

Green Belt areas also contribute a central role in the UK's Biodiversity Action Plan Habitat & Species targets.

The Government also recognises the vital importance of easy access to our green spaces spaces without having to resort to getting in our cars to find them, as their Quality of Life Counts document shows, and as their Planning Policy Guidance 17 (Sports, Open Spaces and Recreation) reinforces. This document is the guideline for planning departments and developers, and follows the policy of:

"promoting more sustainable development - by ensuring that open space, sports and recreational facilities (particularly in urban areas) are easily accessible by walking and cycling."

Accessible green spaces are of enormous benefit to the health and well-being of our communities, promoting "social inclusion and community cohesion" (PPG 17) and it is vitally important that people who live in cities also have easy access to these fantastic facilities. By allowing the Green Spaces already under such pressure between and surrounding our urban developments, towns and cities to be developed further can only be detrimental to local communities, our wildlife and environment and biodiversity on a local and national scale, and on our ability to genuinely attain sustainable development.

Green Belt needs increased protection NOW - particularly those areas close to and within existing urban areas. As it is, Green Belt is already being constantly chipped away slice by slice - what the Campaign to Protect Rural England have termed 'Death by a Thousand Cuts' - and the Government needs to ACT NOW to INCREASE the protection of our existing Green Belt areas, already under considerable threat, if we are to conform to any sense of sustainable development and ensure our communities and our environment can sustain a decent quality of life for ourselves and for future generations.

Just a couple of years ago in 2005 The Guardian reported that 84% of people in England believe the Green Belt should continue to be protected - a figure which more local issues have echoed for Ribblesiders, not least the resulats in the recent local elections in Preston and South Ribble showing majority support for Councillors of all political persuasions who made their opposition to developing on local Green Belt and floodplains and barraging our beautiful river abundantly clear - concerns echoed by the overwhelming majority of people in South Ribble who opposed the recent proposed merger with Preston City, due in no small part to many South Ribble residents' concerns regarding Preston's proposals for developing on the Green Belt in South Ribble.

You can read more about the Riverworks threat to our Green Belt and River Ribble here.

Click here for the Campaign to Protect Rural England.

Contact us at savetheribble@tiscali.co.uk

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Monday, August 13, 2007

Tales and Pictures from the Riverbank

A visitor to Penwortham, Chris from Norfolk, sent in these pictures, saying he is so impressed by the beauty, and peace and quiet of the River and green spaces in the Broadgate, Penwortham, and Frenchwood areas which run along the beautiful River Ribble, he is looking to move here as soon as he can - as he says, 'Where else can people boast of having all this unspoilt beauty on their doorstep?'...






Birds at low tide sunning themselves on the exposed stones of the river bed...


...and other Ribblesiders can be seen on the exposed flats of low tide enjoying this beautiful summer weather too...




Ribbleside - space to breathe!

Thanks Chris!


The appreciation of the power and beauty and environmental integrity of the River Ribble, and the threat facing this magnificent agent of Nature, has caused many local residents to reflect on how they feel about the irreplaceable value of this area, and its own vital existence beyond the narrow and ill-conceived aims of economic gain.
Aidan of Frenchwood sent us an extract from a poem by T. S. Eliot which struck him as particularly relevant...

I do not know much about gods; but I think that the river
Is a brown god - sullen, untamed and intractable,
Patient to some degree, at first recognised as a frontier;
Useful, untrustworthy, as a conveyor of commerce;
Then only as a problem confronting the builder of bridges.
The problem once solved, the brown god is almost forgotten
By the dwellers in cities - ever, however, implacable,
Keeping his seasons and rages, destroyer, reminder
Of what men choose to forget. Unhonoured, unpropitiated
By worshippers of the machine, but waiting, watching and waiting.


'Dry Salvages' from T. S. Eliot's 'Four Quartets'.


This poem is also a stark reminder that we Ribblesiders have been very lucky this summer - only a few localised floods - due entirely to the efficient drain the Ribble provides to a huge area of Lancashire, taking the unprecedented levels of rainwater safely down to the sea...


Jim B joined the Ribblesiders Ribble Coast & Wetlands Walk to Brockholes on 4th August, and sent in a link to some of the photos he took of the event, which you can look at here Jim's Ribble Walk to Brockholes pics...


The following pictures were sent in by JB of Middleforth who, like many Ribblesiders, spends as much time as possible messing about by the River and on the Penwortham Green Belt - come rain or shine (which is just as well, given the RAIN this summer!).

From the River in all her moods and at all tides...


...from a lazy river meandering by on a beautiful warm day...


...to low tide, always a pleasure for ALL Ribblesiders...


...to high rainfall, which brings high river levels - even at Neap tides as here...


...yet even the rain brings its own beauty to the river, in sight and in sound...


...including the roar of the Ribble's spate waters as they churn by.

The diverse and fabulous green spaces which run back from the Ribble's banks offer their own delights...


...from fabulous riverbank trees...


...which still look impressive even when the River levels are threatening their roots...


...to diverse green spaces of barley fields...


...and meadows, rich with numerous grasses...


...and wildflowers...

...and of course whatever the weather, Ribblesiders are enjoying the Ribble's wildlife wherever possible...


...insects form the basis of the foodchain...


...although the odd bag of breadcrumbs is always welcome for the ducks!


The Ribble's numerous Swans always manage to maintain a more dignified air...




...and all this is STILL only 5 minutes walk from a busy city centre...


For more of this summer's Ribbleside pictures, see The Ribble Cycle Diaries...

Contact us at savetheribble@tiscali.co.uk

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Ribble Coast & Wetlands Walking Festival - Ribble Way Walk to Brockholes Wetland

For the opening event in the first ever Ribble Coast & Wetlands Walking Festival, Save the Ribblers organised a Ribble Way Walk along the river banks from the Old Tram Bridge connecting the Penwortham Green Belt to Avenham & Miller Parks to Brockholes Wetland.

The route for this walk was chosen as an ideal opportunity to celebrate the designation of the Ribble as a Regional Park and Brockholes Wetland as the latest - and biggest - Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve in Britain, and the latest addition to the Ribble's Wetlands.


Brockholes Wetland Nature Reserve.


The River Ribble at Brockholes.

A keen band of Ribblesiders from South Ribble and Preston had a very enjoyable day - despite the occasional drizzle - spotting a huge number of bird, plant, and insect life along the Ribble's banks...




It was low tide when we left the Tram Bridge, a great time to spot the numerous bird species feeding in the exposed riverbed - or interrupting their breakfast to watch us as we watch them!


As we moved further upriver, the low waters rushed over the riverbed and a large family of Goosander were enjoying the ride...


Riverbank plants are hugely diverse - particularly in the spots where Himalayan Balsam has either been cleared or hasn't yet taken a hold, this Burdock provided a great deal of enjoyment to the younger members of the group who spent a portion of the walk throwing the burred buds onto one another...


We decided to walk along the Ribble Way Cycle path from the Shawes Arms to Mete House as the riverbank fields here have cattle and we decided that this was best avoided with the recent Foot & Mouth outbreak as it's best to be cautious in these early days...

This was no hardship however as the views are spectacular...




The Ribble from the edge of Mellings Wood...

The walk took us through Mellings Wood...



...and past the Ribble at Cuerdale Hall, site of the famous treasure find, the Cuerdale Hoard...



...although other great treasures are to be found on the riverbanbks along the Ribble here, including Kingfishers and Sand Martin colonies...



...before we arrive at the beautiful vista of the River Ribble at the Tickled Trout...



Lower Brockholes Farm runs down to the river here, on the Preston bank...



...although this farm will soon change forever once the aggregate quarrying begins here too.

At Brockholes Wetland, the Reserve Manager, Sophie Leadsom, welcomed us to the Reserve, and very kindly gave us our own personal guided tour of the site, explaining the enormous amount of work she needs to do before the site is opened to the public...



The site can still be accessed by the Ribble Way footpath, which runs right through the centre of the new reserve, plus there is a permissive footpath which follows the loop of the Ribble as it curves around the area. The rest of the site will not be open to the public at least until safety work is completed - this was until recently a working quarry and some areas of the site are very dangerous - and some basic works have been undertaken.

Even though much of the site is beautiful and green, Sophie explained that a great deal of work has to be done even here as Willow has self-seeded on the shores and islands which - until this summer - were home to the largest colony of Whimbrel in the country. This year the Whimbrel have not nested on the islands at Brockholes as they prefer much less cover which can hide their predators.



Nonetheless, the wildife which is already supported here at Brockholes is staggering - and with the improvements Sophie has in mind, this Reserve will be one of the most important wildlife sites in Lancashire, providing sections of all kinds of traditional Lancashire habitat along with the lakes themselves...



Including woodlands and both wet meadows and dry...





...which will mean even more wildflowers and grasses and other plant species will cover the area...


...including such species as Tufted Vetch and Birds Foot Trefoil...


...Mallow...


... and Meadow Cranesbill...

But, beautiful though they are, the plants aren't the most important species in the foodchain, it's the insects which are attracted to the plants which are the most important of all, providing essential energy to the numerous bird species which now populate this Wetland...


Cinnabar Moth Caterpillars on Ragwort


Probably Peacock Butterfly caterpillars...


Demoiselle Dragonflies have joined the huge numbers of Common Blue and other Damselflies and Dragonflies which are abundant at Brockholes.

On the site of the most recent quarry excavations, Sophie explains how this barren stony ground will become a lush wetland meadow within 3 years...



...and because it will be properly managed from the very beginning, Sophie will be able to avoid having to do all the extra work on this area that she is having to do on the more mature lakes and meadows. This includes having to reduce the height levels of the islands, extend and grade the slopes into the water to remove the steep drops into the quarry bottom which currently exist (which reduce habitat provision), and remove the invasive plant species which will interfere with these special habitats at Brockholes.



The bird and insect species at Brockholes is already so impressive it allowed the Wildlife Trust to put forward their proposals to protect the site from development - managing to purchase the site at the beginning of the year despite a scarily short deadline with the generous help of local people.


Geese...


and Lapwing were amongst the birds which showed off for us while we were here.


The Ribble as it curves around Brockholes here is extremely beautiful, and as well as Geese and Sand Martins alongside more Damoiselle flies on the banks here, we had the privilege of a close view of a Kingfisher.

We had a picnic lunch and a rest at Brockholes, although one member of the party had an even bigger rest before the walk back...




Our Brockholes tour over, we had the pleasure of the walk home along the Ribble's beautiful banks, back downriver past Cuerdale Hall...



...Mete House, where other Ribblesiders were enjoying the clear and warm afternoon on the riverbanks...



...before reaching the Tram Bridge in time for high tide...



Along with a number of swans, a cormorant was fishing for his supper, and the breeze was rustling through the riverside trees...


...so we spent a good while enjoying more of this summer day messing about on the riverbank...

...and we take in the waving heads of the Barley on our way back downriver to Old Penwortham Bridge...



- although an unexpected and unwelcome disturbance scattered the swans and ducks and cormorants and gulls in all directions, and we all quickly left for home rather than have our Ribbling afternoon spoiled...




There are many more Ribble Coast & Wetlands Walking Festival Events, including a number local to South Ribble and Preston, including Fishwick Bottoms, our local Parks, Longton Brickcroft, amongst many others, as well as further afield at Crossens, Southport, Martin Mere, and Granny's Bay.

For more information, see Ribble Events, or follow the links to the Ribble Coast & Wetlands Walking Festival at Mersey Basin.

savetheribble@tiscali.co.uk

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"The care of rivers is not a question of rivers, but of the human heart" Tanako Shozo Save The Ribble Logo