Friends of Bradford Beck make progress with work on historic waterway

Bradford Neck

Conservationists says signs are good for Bradford Beck as they continue a campaign to cover up outdated danger warnings that tell people to keep away from the dirty water.

Volunteers with Friends of Bradford Beck are determined to expose the beck with their new ‘This Is Bradford Beck’ signs as a pleasant place to meander and enjoy.

Once deemed the filthiest river in England, they say with a little help from them and funding agencies, it could become attractive and healthy again.

This Sunday, the Friends of Bradford Beck are throwing a ‘Becknic’ party from 2pm to 3pm under The Crag in Valley Road, Shipley, to raise awareness of the waterway as something to celebrate.

People can just go along and join in – all they need to do is bring their own food.

The Friends and partner groups have come up with ambitious plans to clean up and improve the river, allowing wildlife to thrive and making it an asset to the city.

The beck’s water quality has been tested and come out “better than first expected”, said Steve Bland, of The Friends group.

The Friends have also been through the city to identify how and where the cleanliness and attractiveness of the watercourse for people and wildlife could be improved.

To make a start, volunteers have been holding action days clearing the areas of the beck and came up with the signing project.

They have been out and about covering up the old red warning signs dating back to the 1980s, if not earlier.

Mr Bland said: “When I was growing up those signs scared my mum. She always told us to stay away because we could catch something from the water but of course we didn’t stay away and we didn’t get ill from it either.

“The beck has pretty much been forgotten over the years. We want to reveal it again so it can be enjoyed and become an important part of the city again.”

Of the 11km of the beck which flows through the city, the majority is either hidden underground or forced to run through deep artificial culverts.

Many of these date back to the 19th century, when Bradford Beck was so polluted it was deemed the filthiest river in England, despite the city being at the time the country’s richest.

The culverts were built to hide the sight and smells of it. It runs beneath the Alhambra, City Hall, under the Westfield site and out on Canal Road to Shipley. The Friends are looking for funding to put up information boards, direction signs showing the way to the beck and possible marker flagstones or a painted line through the city centre charting its underground flow.

Thanks to the Telegraph and Argus for the publicity.

Aire Rivers Trust seeks helpers for Bradford Beck clean up

The following article appeared in the Telegraph and Argus today (Mon 21 May 2012)

Aire Rivers Trust seeks helpers for Bradford Beck clean up

A training day for volunteers to carry out periodic water sampling is to take place Thursday, June 14, at Bradford University, 13:00 (1 pm)

DavidB pp Michael Canning

Bradford Beck next phase
Bradford Beck Project


T+A Article text follows
Details »

East Riddlesden Hall riverbank cleanup

In October 2011 the National Trust opened up their river bank and fields at East Riddlesden Hall, Keighley, and created a footpath for the public to use. The Aire Rivers Trust worked with Bradford Council, National Trust employees, and the Environment Agency to arrange for tyres and other debris to be removed from the river and taken away. The actual work in the river was done by the Environment Agency and Bradford Council removed the debris and rubbish taken from the river.
Details »

2011 River cleanup in Shipley/Baildon area

River Aire cleanup Shipley-Baildon


Image ©Newsquest Bradford Telegraph & Argus1.
Here in the link below is a powerpoint presentation in Powerpoint 97-2004 format2 which should be playable using the Powerpoint player downloadable from Microsoft, if you don’t have MS-Office.

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The presentation was prepared by Bradford Council covering cleanup work done in conjunction with the Environment Agency, West Yorkshire Probation Trust/(Community PaybackJustice Seen|Justice Done), Network Rail upgrading the fencing and InCommunities, with Bradford Council disposing of the debris and rubbish taken from the river.

In addition to Powerpoint It should also be playable+3 using Keynote4OpenOffice5, LibreOffice6 or NeoOffice7·8


Footnotes:
  1. clickable to their report []
  2. not the latest MS Office 2010 version – Powerpoint 97 is 2 versions older []
  3. + no guarantees I don’t have a iPhone/iPad touch – I use a Mac, but can run Windows using Bootcamp|virtualisation []
  4. Mac App Store for Mac/iPhone/iPad+ users []
  5. OpenOffice is free for Windows/Mac/Linux/Unix users []
  6. LibreOffice is free for Windows/Mac/Linux/Unix users []
  7. NeoOffice is DonationWare for Mac users []
  8. free/donation office suites for those who don’t want to/can’t run/afford MS-Office []