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Currently in poor condition,

the River Wharfe SSSI is

preventing the river from

functioning naturally, reducing

its ecological health and

stopping the SSSI from

reaching its potential.

We were asked to produce

an ecologically desirable

vision for the SSSI that would

be in characteristic of the

river without morphological


This involved developing

a conceptual model of the

current functioning of the river

and floodplain now and in the

future. A draft river restoration

plan for consultation with

stakeholders was to be




Restoring the River Wharfe SSSI | 01302 337798 | 01675 437 750 | @JBAConsulting | JBA Consulting

The Vision


engagement and

public participation

events were essential

throughout this

project, allowing us

to produce an outline

'vision' for the river,

based on the specific

recommendations for

the functional reaches

that we identified.

• A dynamic and diverse river

bed which is suitable for fish

and invertebrates.

• Variable channel features

with a variety of river depths

and flow speeds.

• Varied bankside plant

structure, including areas

of shading and occasional

open stretches of

floodplain meadow.

• Diverse plant, invertebrate

and breeding bird communities

that are able to use the river

corridor with

minimal disturbance.

• Low levels of river

engineering allowing natural

movement of the channel

within a narrow riparian strip.

• Increased connection with the

floodplain where wet grassland

and meadows, fen, carr and

wooded areas may develop.

• Enhanced character of the

landscape's natural beauty,

diversity and setting of the

river and its floodplain.


Natural England,


Agency, Yorkshire

Dales National Park

Authority, National

Trust, Yorkshire

Dales Rivers Trust



North Yorkshire


Feasibility Stage,


The River Wharfe is a nationally important river designated

as a Special Site of Scientific Interest (SSSI) for its contrasting

upland and lowland character which is important for its wildlife

and habitat. SSSI status covers the river channel and small

areas of adjacent floodplain between Buckden and upstream of

the River Skirfare confluence near Kettlewell. The River Wharfe

is within the protected countryside of the Yorkshire Dales

National Park important for its outstanding scenery, wildlife and

cultural heritage.


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