A PARISH council has joined forces with an environmental charity to help protect, maintain and improve the beck that winds its way through the village.

Giggleswick Parish Council and The Ribble Rivers Trust have formed a partnership to care for the thriving Tems Beck, home to a range of fish and wildlife, and will call on 'citizen scientists' and volunteers to help monitor its eco-system.

A significant part of the village, the parish council believes the beck is the most interesting and diverse watercourse flowing into the River Ribble in terms of its broad range of ecosystems and the neighbouring landscape.

A council spokesperson said: "The wildlife in this wonderful watercourse is amazing, with trout swimming up from the sea to lay their eggs. Protected species, including native crayfish, are found in abundance and otters are often seen on its banks.

"Landowners and owners of property adjacent to the beck, including the parish council who look after the Harrison Playing Fields on behalf of the community, have responsibilities as riparian owners.

"This includes ensuring the water flows properly, blockages are removed, flooding and pollution is reported. The parish council has facilitated volunteer days and local residents now spend time with guidance from environmental experts sympathetically clearing any woody vegetation from the beck ensuring it flows well."

At times, flooding has been a concern for some residents and others have expressed concern about changes to the beck over time, including silting, sluggish flow, increased vegetation, and water quality. These views have been shared at parish council meetings, so now, councillors are seeking a way forward that keeps all residents and landowners informed and supported.

The parish council and the trust have examined the length of the beck from its source to where it leaves the village. The trust will now develop a medium to long term strategy that will involve seeking funding for interventions that may be needed to improve the flow of the beck and will co-ordinate with organisations such as the Environment Agency and North Yorkshire Council.

With ‘community involvement, education and engagement’ at its heart, it will mean training people as 'citizen scientists'.

The council spokesperson added: "These citizen scientists will be equipped with the knowledge and tools to monitor various parts of the river ecosystem. This hands-on involvement fosters a sense of ownership and responsibility for the environment and forms part of the Ribble Rivers Trust establishing the Yorkshire Ribble Rangers, a community group that will be at the forefront of the conservation efforts. This group will be made up of volunteers and citizen scientists from the local area, ensuring that the project is driven by and for the local residents.

"The project will place the community at its core, nurturing a sense of environmental responsibility, and actively involving local residents in the protection and enhancement of the Ribble River source, ensuring a sustainable and community-oriented approach to conservation."

Ribble Rivers Trust is a dedicated environmental charity committed to enhancing the Ribble and its tributaries for the benefit of both communities and wildlife. For over two decades the trust’s team has worked to improve the 3479 miles of rivers running through Lancashire and North Yorkshire.