YorePast – UreFuture, is the Catchment Management Plan for the upper Ure and focuses on encouraging and supporting water-friendly farming, ensuring clean and safe water, and enhancing Wensleydale’s special wildlife and habitats. It has been developed by a partnership of local farmers and interested organisations, led by YDRT and YDNPA.
In the last 60 years agricultural practices have modernised and tourist numbers increased. These developments, along with climatic change, have put pressure on the landscape, particularly on the River Ure and its tributaries. Pollutants from agricultural land and sewage works have affected the water quality causing excessive seasonal growths of algae. This produces low oxygen levels and, together with an increase in fine sediment in the river channel, has reduced the amount of habitat suitable for fish and invertebrates.
The Strategy Document was printed and distributed in summer 2017 and it contains ideas for projects which will help achieve the aims. Several have already received funding, including the Wensleydale Dormouse Project, run by YDNPA to plant 1700m new hedgerows to not only connect dormouse habitat but to slow the overland flow of water. The Ure River and Naturally Resilient projects are also a product of the Wensleydale Project Strategy and are described more fully in this newsletter. Work continues to develop the next round of project ideas and to widen the partnership to include local businesses and recreational interests.