LANDOWNERS along the River Wiske have the opportunity to benefit from funding for restoration work on their land.

In an attempt to alleviate local flooding, tackle water pollution and create new wildlife habitats, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust is extending its conservation work along the river near Northallerton and surrounding villages.

It has won more funding from the Environment Agency and Yorkshire Water. Work during the first year of the project included installing four livestock crossings, around 3.5 kilometres of bankside fencing, and planting more than 500 native trees.

Although the Wiske looks attractive and wildlife friendly, environmental assessments identify much of it as being in poor condition.

Contributing factors include water run-off pollution from surrounding fields, and increased nutrient loading from sewerage overflows and waste water treatment. Much of the land surrounding the river is arable, creating a risk of higher metaldehyde levels as a result of its use in pellets to control slug populations.

Its current condition means it provides very limited habitat for wildlife, while Himalayan Balsam has taken hold in several locations.

Brompton, Northallerton and Romanby, have also experienced significant flooding in recent years, with rapid run-off and a lack of ability to store water on land upstream identified as contributing factors.

Claire Burton, trust project officer, said: "The funding can be used to improve the watercourse by undertaking tasks such as tree planting and bank re-profiling to save the eroding river bank, and riverside fencing and cattle crossing creation to prevent further siltation of the river.

"We have already worked with several landowners and have achieved great results. This additional funding enables us to support several more to the benefit of the river, its wildlife, and local communities."

Andrew Walker, Yorkshire Water’s catchment strategy manager, added: "The River Wiske is one of Yorkshire Water's priority catchments for tackling elevated levels of metaldehyde.

"We have had significant positive engagement with farmers in the catchment and would like to build on that by reminding farmers about changes that have taken place this year to further protect watercourses from metaldehyde pollution.

"Alternative products are equally as effective as metaldehyde and are available at a similar cost. Full guidance is available at"

For further details and to apply, email Claire Burton at or call 01904 659570.