River Tutt Restoration

River Tutt Restoration

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust is working with the local community to enhance wildlife habitat along the River Tutt, a small tributary of the River Ure, situated to the south west of Boroughbridge in North Yorkshire.

Key aims

This project will improve the ecological quality of the River Tutt by reducing sedimentation and improving fish habitat as well as improving the quality and connectivity of bankside habitats.

By working with local land owners and the local community we aim to highlight opportunities to enhance the river for wildlife. 

What we are doing

Under the Water Framework Directive (WFD), the River Tutt is classified as being heavily modified and as having only ‘Moderate Ecological Potential.’ It fails on the basis of fish habitat and numbers and is over-straightened and over-deepened.

Working on one of our own Nature Reserve at Staveley as well as on two further privately owned sites we have already carried out a range of restoration works thanks to funding by Biffa Award:

  • Re-profiling the river bank - to stabilise them, reducing the amount of sediment input into the river and improving the river habitat for wildlife.
  • Diversifying the flow - installing flow detectors varies the velocity of the water at low flow levels creating a more diverse habitat for fish and aquatic invertebrates. Gravels are cleaned by the faster moving water creating spawning ground for fish. Invertebrates and plants benefit from the pools and slower moving waters created by the flow deflectors.
  • Creating backwaters - providing a calm refuge area for young fish and aquatic insects. Once the vegetation becomes established dragonflies and damselflies breed in the waterbody. The backwater also improves the water quality of the river by trapping silt brought in by the river water.
  • Habitat enhancement - planting trees and installing an otter holt, as well as new bird and bat boxes, has improved the river habitat for a range of wildlife. Creating new scrapes (shallow, temporary pools) at Staveley also provides additional feeding habitat for waders.

This project will also deliver full colour information panels in the hides at Staveley Nature Reserve and outdoor interpretation boards which will teach visitors about the amazing rare birds, dragonflies, great crested newts and water voles found at the various sites we are working at.

How you can help

Become a volunteer and come along to help out on volunteer work days!

Please contact us by emailing volunteering@ywt.org.uk or calling 01904 658570 if you live in the local area or own land along the River Tutt and would like to know more about getting involved with this or future projects. 


Project funded by Biffa Award, a multi-million pound environment fund managed by the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts (RSWT), which utilises landfill tax credits donated by Biffa Waste Services.

Additional support from the Rotary Club of Harrogate, Sir George Martin Trust & Reed Boardall.

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