Wednesday, 30 October 2013

It's almost spawning time again

Wed. 30th October 2013
     October is drawing to a close and it's at this time of year here up in Lancashire when the Salmon and Sea Trout migrate up the rivers to prepare to spawn in the headwaters and side streams of the River Ribble and it's tributaries. I've been out and about in various locations to get a glimpse of these fish nearly at the end of their journey. Some will survive if the conditions are favourable but many will die after spawning, but the life cycle will have been completed.
          The River Ribble Trust has almost completed the river improvements to our local rivers which will enable the fish in the river systems to move up and down the rivers without the impedance of all the impassable obstacles that once stood in their way.

Widening the river channel in Burnley town centre to create resting pools for fish, this section will look similar to the sections already completed lower down the river.

    Improvements to Colne water and the construction of a new fish pass

           New fish pass and fish counter on the weir on Swanside Beck

The new information board at Barrowford Weir and Fish Pass

                              Trout leaping up the weir

 The largest fish that I saw jumping (not this one) was around 18 inch long , dare I suggest it could be a Sea Trout that as finally returned to Pendle Water. I haven't seen any large fish as yet in the rivers above the weir, are they ascending the fish pass?,  I'll check if there's any evidence of spawning in the gravel in the higher reaches of the rivers in a couple of weeks.

Stainforth Force on the River Ribble, a good viewing point to watch the Salmon leap up the falls

Finally a short video that gives the feel and atmosphere of the falls .I know it isn't Canada or Alaska but it's the nearest location we have to view these magnificent fish.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Burnley Rivers .....latest news

Wed. 16th Oct.2013
                  A short video clip about the ongoing improvements to Burnley's town centre rivers. Victoria Dewhurst from the River Ribble Trust who is overseeing this project gives a brief description of the latest work being carried out for the Urban Rivers Enhancement Scheme.
         This short video clip will be included in Burnley Film Makers 2013 Newsreel which will be shown to the public in November.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

River Improvements Going Ahead

Tuesday 8th Oct. 2013
                       I'm still involved with The River Ribble Trust in recording the river improvements through Burnley town centre.  During the end of the 19th century the rivers were channelised through the town centre to enable the river to wash away all the rubbish etc. that was continually dumped in the rivers
      Now a more enlightened approach to our towns rivers is being applied (in most cases) and the hope is that in near future Salmon and Sea Trout will again swim through the centre of our town. To make life easier for the fish the long channelised sections of the river are being constructed to create resting pools for the fish to enable them to swim up through the river without exhausting themselves.

The river channel before the improvements (a video frame grab)

                  The new resting pools in the same stretch of the river

    Besides helping the fish, the new look is a lot more pleasing to the eye

More improvements further up the river in what was another fast flowing channelised section

Still the dumping goes on , I suspect that this SOFA has been dumped from one of the many small businesses in the immediate area 

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Back to the Lakes

Wed. 2nd Oct. 2013

                  It seems ages since I last posted but with family commitments and the tendency for my posts to repeat themselves over the yearly cycle I've eased off a little.
        But last week the good weather continued so we took full advantage and returned to the Lake District  an area that I never tire of. We were based near to the village of Coniston an ideal area for accessing  the fine ridges that the Coniston Fells have to offer, so on my 73rd birthday we were up and away for a day on the tops.

The Old Man of Coniston range for the Grizedale Forest side of Coniston Water

The walk started near to the village of Torver and across the side of Torver High Common we found the Common Butterwort and some late flowering Grass-of-Parnassus.

                          Common Butterwort (insect eating plant)

                             Goat's Water and Dow Crag

               Along the ridge with Dow Crag dominating the scene

                               The summit of Coniston Old Man

Back along the ridge with Sca Fell & Scafell Pike ( Englands highest mountain) just to the right of centre

                      Looking back along the ridge to Dow Crag

                      Swirl Band nearing the top of Swirl How

           View looking NE towards the Helvellyn Range in the distance

                                       The cairn Swir

Descending Prison Band off Swirl How before the path down past Lever's Water to Coniston

Finally a well deserved pint of Blue Bird beer at the Black Bull Hotel in Coniston

           Watching the sheep which have been brought down off the fells

Friday, 9 August 2013

Needle in a Haystack

Friday 9th Aug. 2013
                    Finding the Frog Orchid this year has been a bit of a challenge. The hot summer has produced almost Prairie conditions in Upper Ribblesdale and finding them in the grassland needed disciplined concentration and a keen eye. Once we got our eye in we found around 20 plants but moving on a couple of yards they just seem to become invisible again merging in to surround foliage.

The sun bleached grassland of Upper Ribblesdale with Pen-y-Ghent across the valley

The tiny Frog Orchid about 2-3 inch high is in the middle of the picture it shows the difficulty in finding them because they merge into their suirroundings

                        Frog Orchids with their different colouration

  Near the Railway Station at Ribblehead we found some of the later orchids still in flower

    The Marsh Fragrant Orchid growing amongst the Marsh Helleborines

                                           Marsh Helleborine