A NEW officer has been appointed to look after the River Colne.
The Colne Valley Trust, a community and conservation trust, based at Carr Lane in Slaithwaite, has appointed Mick Smith as the new River Colne project officer.
Mr Smith, 23, studied zoology at Liverpool University and then moved to North Wales to work as a countryside ranger.
He then progressed to become an assistant conservation officer at North Wales Wildlife Trust.
He said he came to the Colne Valley because he wanted a change.
He said: "After nearly four years in Wales, I decided I needed a change. I wanted to meet new people, manage new projects and to see new sites.
"The River Colne project excited me. My work before was more hands-on and this is more management based.
"I have to build on the excellent work of my predecessor, but it is a challenge that I am looking forward to."
Mr Smith takes over from Sue Leffman, who has managed phase one of the project for two years.
Phase one schemes between Marsden and Milnsbridge included cleaning the river water, tree planting, digging new ponds, recording well sites, clearing weeds, improving footpaths and creating poems and sculptures inspired by water.
It ended last October and now it is Mr Smith's job to take the project into phase two.
Both phases have been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Kirklees Council.
The new phase will see Mr Smith working with landowners and businesses to improve the waterside environment.
He will also be overseeing projects to survey and record historical gates, stiles and walls, develop a river-themed sculpture trail and improve footpath access to the river.
Mr Smith said he wanted to involve the community in the project.
He said: "If we can get people who want to help it would be wonderful.
"You may be able to attend an event, donate your time and skills in practical work or simply give your ideas."
Anyone who wants to help can call Mr Smith on 01484 847790 or visit the Colne Valley Trust office.