EXPERTS in Yorkshire have turned detective in a bid to protect the county’s environmental assets.
They’ve kicked off a mammoth piece of work to bring rivers and streams up to tough new standards.
Rivers in West Yorkshire are the cleanest they’ve been for 20 years, but new measures have been introduced Europe-wide which take other factors into account, such as the potential to support wildlife and fish movement.
Now the Environment Agency has started to look closely at those rivers, streams and other water bodies that don’t quite make the grade.
Investigations will centre around those where it’s not clear what’s causing them to fail or where there is still a question around what a potential solution could be.
In Yorkshire alone, there are nearly 1,500 investigations to be done – taking in more than 5,345 km of rivers.
Schemes that will be examiner to see if they can improve rivers will be fish passes – including those installed on the Rivers Colne and Calder.
They help fish get up river to spawn, restoring life to the waterways.
Environment Agency programme manager Jeff Pacey said: “We want to build on the improvements that have already been made through investment and regulation.
“These new standards broaden the range of what we need to consider when looking at a river’s whole ecosystem.”