The Swale is in a Wonderful State

“It is cold and frosty, with lots of wildlife and plenty of grayling,” says the Salmon & Trout Association part-time field officer Keith Mason.

“It is cold and frosty, with lots of wildlife and plenty of grayling,” says the Salmon & Trout Association part-time field officer Keith Mason. He was out fishing for grayling yesterday on one of England’s fastest flowing rivers.

The great state of wildlife and fishing on the Swale yesterday is a result of the extensive regeneration work the Salmon & Trout Association Swaledale and Wensleydale Branch led from 1997 to 2002. The River needed work because of the dramatic increase in flash floods and excessive flooding over the past 25 years. Many anglers know the causes and effects of flooding only too well.

Work included:

 • River bank protection
 • Buffer strips of regenerated vegetation

 • In channel work including creating pool and riffle sequences
 • Improvements of fish habitats
 • Building otter holts
 • All weather surfaces for bridleways at ancient crossing places
 • Detailed survey/audits of the river system including baseline bird surveys

 • Managing tree belts and woodlands from tributary confluences with the main channel

The Branch was able to do all this impressive work because they applied for funding and built partnerships with the local community, including schools, and with the local park agency, wildlife trust, Environment Agency, English Nature and the Army (a landowner in the area).

Page 8 and 9 of the S&TA Nov/Christmas Newsletter features an informative article on the Swale River Regeneration Project written by Lt Col PA MacF MacGillivray OBE of the S&TA Swaledale and Wensleydale Branch.

As Peter MacGillivray wrote in his article, “Our initiation of and active involvement in this river improvement project is an example of how an S&TA Branch is in touch with the concerns of local people and environmental organisations.”

Check out the Project’s attractive website at www.riverswale.org.uk