Backing given to salmon plan on River Ure

A CAMPAIGN to bring wild salmon back to the River Ure has been backed by the Government.

The Ure Salmon Trust – formed by riverside landowners and Theakston’s brewery in Masham – aims to see the Dales river become one of the finest salmon rivers in England for the first time since pollution wiped out fish stocks.

Now the trust’s work with the Environment Agency has been recognised by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

A Defra spokesman said: “Defra fully encourages projects that seek to restore fisheries to benefit the ecology, recreation and economic status of river catchments.”

The trust’s supporters are delighted to see their work recognised, and hope it will help raise much-needed funds to continue the project.

Co-founder Christopher Bilborough said: “Having our efforts recognised by Defra is very welcome news indeed – it’s a real shot in the arm for all involved.

“This project has initially been funded by a small number of individuals and local businesses and, over the next six years, we are aiming to raise £100,000 annually.

“We hope Defra’s endorsement will help attract further financial support to help us achieve our goal.”

The project has already seen salmon eggs removed from the river to be hatched and reared in Grassington, before being released back into the river to boost stocks.