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Dam Removal Europe have awarded Ribble Rivers Trust (RRT) funding after a Europe-wide crowd funding appeal.

The capital is for the removal of a weir across Smithies Brook near Clitheroe, Lancashire. The weir is currently a barrier to fish migration. Removing it will reconnect a 12km stretch of river, providing access to spawning grounds upstream as well as creating a new area of riffle habitat. Riffles help to aerate our rivers and streams, attracting important invertebrate populations; the base of our riverine food chains.

The work will take place at the end of June; not long to wait. Before the physical works can start the fisheries team here at RRT will be carrying out a fish rescue above and below the weir. This will involve trained staff netting off a section of the brook and relocating any fish within the nets upstream of the weir. Local volunteers will then be helping to put sediment traps in place to catch any silt disturbed during the work. The weir will then be removed by hand to reduce the impact that using heavy machinery might have on the site. Once the work is complete the sediment traps and nets will be removed, and the rivers natural recovery will begin. Monitoring of the site will continue in the following years to provide evidence of the effectiveness of the works for future projects.

If you would like to find out more or get involved in this, or any of our other projects, then please visit our website or email

We have almost reached our goal to remove this barrier! Help us to raise the last few funds!

Smithies map with dam location

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