Project update: Bringing the River Irk to Life – Have your say

We have a really exciting opportunity for you to have your say on which actions should be taken to bring the River Irk back to life.

There will be an online survey coming soon, but also 3 workshops focussing on different areas of the catchment.  These are free to attend and will allow you to find out more about the project and the actions.

29th March, 14:00-15:00

Irk (Source to Wince Brook) covering the section of river from Royton down to Middleton and includes Trub & Whit Brook

30th March, 10:00-11:00

Wince Brook – from Chadderton to Middleton.

31st March, 18:00-19:00.

Irk (Wince Brook to Irwell) covering the section of river from Middleton down to Manchester City Centre and includes Moston Brook

Katherine Causer, Irwell Catchment Coordinator says…

“Over the past few years, the BRIL team have been gathering opinions on the River Irk.  These have now been collated and transformed into a list of potential actions that could help improve the Irk for both the environment and people.”

 “It’s essential that we bring together all stakeholders from the public, private and community sectors to develop a shared vision for the River Irk Catchment through these workshops.”

Some of the highest priorities identified included:

  • Re-naturalisation and reconnection of the river
  • Transforming the Irk so it becomes the “people’s river”
  • Supporting planning policies and decisions that promote more investment in green and blue infrastructure within the river valley.
  • Less rubbish
  • Cleaner water
  • More wildlife
  • Better access

161 stakeholders were invited to identify locations of existing or proposed schemes and potential opportunities to help create the Action Plan.  This consultation revealed 13 proposed/ongoing schemes across the catchment, from litter picking to planned removal of a weir, and also a few new potential funding streams that will be explored.

Problems mentioned included weirs and culverts, lack of biodiversity, invasive species, poor water quality, artificial channel, ‘nuisances’ (e.g. litter, sewage and appearance), and disconnection of the channel from the floodplain.

Opportunities included weir removal to improve fish passage, bypass channel to create fish passage, wetland creation, control of invasive species and improving water quality.