We are creating wetlands to improve water quality and reduce flood risk in the Thornton area.
We are working with Ribble Rivers Trust and Lune Rivers Trust to aid nature recovery and help connect people to nature across the Wyre Catchment.
We are working with United Utilities to monitor pesticide concentrations in the River Wyre and its tributaries
Thornton has over 3,000 houses at risk of surface water and fluvial flooding, along with 10,000+ houses at risk from coastal flooding.
Following an invitation into the Wyre Making Space for Water Group in 2019, we have been working with the four local flood risk management authorities; Lancashire County Council (Lead Local Flood Authority), Environment Agency, United Utilities and Wyre Council. This has resulted in the Thornton Flood Resilience project.
Three sites are being restored as part of the project; a former government site at White Carr Lane (Norcross), unused land along the Hillylaid Pool watercourse at the old ICI site in Thornton, and King Georges Playing Fields in Thornton. The aim of the project is to increase water storage on areas of unused land in Thornton. This is being carried out by the creation of wetlands at each of the three sites; wetlands store water during times of high rainfall and release it slowly as the weather dries up. Where possible natural processes are being restored to watercourses; meanders (bends) are being re-instated to allow natural processes to take place. Tree planting will increase the amount of water that is intercepted and absorbed before it reaches the watercourse, reducing flood risk for houses downstream.
The project has multiple benefits; wetland and woodland habitats store carbon, filter pollutants from the water and the air as well as providing homes for wildlife. The project will also improve access to nature in Thornton.
Find out more about each of the three schemes by clicking on the links below.
Natural flood management works with natural processes to reduce the risk of flooding. Click below to read more about the ways which we work to reduce flood risk in the Wyre Catchment.
The Health and Environmental Action Lancashire Project is funded by the Government's Green Recovery Challenge Fund, which aims to help with nature recovery, and connect people to the outdoors through education, training, recreation, and volunteering. The project is being lead by Ribble Rivers Trust and will involve the creation of Woodland and delivery of 12 health walks
Learn more about the events and activities we are running across the Wyre Catchment.
The River Wyre provides drinking water for an estimated 650,00 people. In 2015 it was designated a drinking water safeguard zone and therefore measures are being taken to reduce the amount of pesticides which are entering the river. MCPA (a herbicide used to kill rushes and other weeds) and Diazinon (an insecticide used to kill ticks and lice on sheep) have caused the standard for drinking water quality to be exceeded on a number of occasions.
Since 2018 the Wyre Rivers Trust have undertaken a programme of monitoring along the upper Wyre and its tributaries to understand more about the problem of pesticides in the catchment. Working in partnership with United Utilities, the Environment Agency and Catchment sensitive farming, we have also been working with landowners to find ways to reduce the amount of pesticides going into the river.
How do pesticides end up in the river?
Herbicides can be washed off fields, roads, gardens and railways where they have been used by the rain, entering drains and channels that lead them straight to the river. Spillages can result in pesticides entering watercourses directly or from surface water drains leading from handling areas such as farmyards.
Insecticides such as diazinon often enter watercourses from leakages from sheep dip baths or drips from treated sheep.
Why does it matter?
Diazinon is highly toxic to river life; small concentrations of pesticides can be damaging to invertebrate species such as freshwater shrimp and have been shown to harm the reproductive systems of salmon and trout. Herbicides such as MCPA are moderately toxic to aquatic plants.
The process of removing pesticides from drinking water so that it is safe to drink when it reaches our taps is costly and reduces the overall efficiency of the water treatment works.
Pesticides are just one of the pollutants that can be damaging to the river. Plastics, sediment and excess nutrients are also harmful to river life and effect water quality.
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Wyre River Trust – Registered Charity Number: 1161776
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