We are most fortunate that the Ribble has been classified by the Environment Agency as one of the pilot catchments under the Water Framework Directive. We also have an established and dynamic Rivers Trust that has been working for several years to remove migration barriers and improve habitat from Preston to Ribblehead. As a consequence the river is now the beneficiary of significant investment of both money and expert project management.
In 2012 a major project to improve fish holding capacity on both the headwater becks was commenced. This work has involved the erection of over a kilometer of bankside fencing, the planting of several thousand native trees and improvements to instream habitat using large woody debris.
The map shows the extent of this work on Gayle beck adjacent to Gauber and there are plans to extend this habitat coridor to link up with the improvement scheme at Nanny Carrs that the cub completed in 2006. Together this will provide over three kilometers of protected bank, water shading to lower summer temperatures and a mix of habitats suitable for brown trout at all life stages.
Allied to this the Trust has begun work on progessively blocking the old drainage grips on the moors above Ribblehead. Over time this work should result in fewer damaging winter spates and increased summer flows.
The belief is that these improvements will enable brown trout, sea trout and salmon to breed more successfully and provide for a significant increase in trout populations along the whole length