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Humber River Basin’s migratory fish to benefit from Greenport Hull funding

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Images show the weir at Breary Banks on the River Ure before and after the works took place (image courtesy of ABP)

Images show the weir at Breary Banks on the River Ure before and after the works took place (image courtesy of ABP)

A project to reintroduce salmon to a stretch of river in Wensleydale, North Yorkshire has been given a boost thanks to a £15, 000 donation from Associated British Ports (ABP).

The Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust (YDRT) has used the funds to remove a weir, which is located on a remote section of the River Burn on the Swinton Estate, near Masham. The weir represented a significant barrier to the upstream movement of migratory fish and the removal has now opened up an additional 5.5 km of good quality salmonid nursery and juvenile habitat. 

ABP is currently working with The Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust (YDRT) which is in turn working in partnership with the Ure Salmon Trust (UST), to distribute a grant fund of £180, 000 in the Humber River Basin that will increase the chances of migratory fish successfully migrating and spawning.

The partnership was established in order to support populations of migratory fish in the Humber as part of the Greenport Hull Alexandra Dock development, which will see ABP and partners Siemens establish the UK’s first offshore wind turbine manufacturing, assembly, service and installation facility.

ABP Head of Projects Humber, Simon Brett said: “It’s essential that any works carried out as part of the Alexandra Dock project have as little impact on the natural environment as possible and migratory fish such as salmon and trout, which use the Humber to travel to spawning grounds and back again, were identified as species that may require additional support.

“Working closely with the YDRT means we can identify those areas and projects within the Humber River Basin that will benefit most from the funding and the weir at Breary Banks on the Swinton Estate was one project of many that we have been involved in. It’s fantastic to know that these salmonid species will once again be able to travel up the River Burn unhindered.”

Other species which are also expected to benefit include seatrout, brown trout, grayling, elvers, bullhead and stoneloach and brook lamprey.

Over 30, 000 salmon smolts have been released into the River Burn by the UST in the last two years, meaning adult salmon will be returning to the Burn system over the next few years. It is therefore important that they have access to suitable spawning and nursery areas.

At the end of March 2016 contractors carefully removed the weir and the river has naturally begun to profile, with the release of gravel from behind the weir. Fish monitoring studies will be undertaken over the next five years to determine the success of the project.

River Manager for the UST Dave Bamford said: “We’re enormously grateful to ABP for providing this funding, and to the Swinton Estate for allowing the project to go ahead. This work is going to make such a difference by allowing a variety of fish species further upstream into some of the most suitable habitat in Yorkshire. I am also certain that come the autumn when the fish go upstream to spawn, we’ll see salmon further upstream than we have in many years.”


  • ABP is the UK’s leading ports operator with 21 ports and other transport related businesses creating a unique national network capable of handling a vast array of cargo.
  • Around one quarter of the UK’s seaborne trade passes through ABP’s Statutory Harbour Areas.
  • ABP contributes £5.6 billion to the UK economy every year and supports 84, 000 jobs. Our current investment programme promises to deliver an extra £1.75 billion for the economy every year.


  • Handled over 1.6 million vehicles in 2014.
  • Generates around one quarter of the UK’s rail freight
  • Has 1.4 million square metres of covered storage

Has 1000 hectares of open storage

  • Handled 94.5m tonnes of cargo in 2014
  • Owns 5000 hectares of port estate
  • Has 87km of quay

Over the next five years, ABP is investing over £650 million in a wide range of major projects across the group.

ABP Humber

The four ports of Grimsby, Immingham, Hull and Goole handle more than 61 million tonnes of cargo between them each year.

Grimsby and Immingham form the UK’s busiest trading gateway and move around 50 million tonnes of cargo per annum.

£130-plus million is currently being invested in the biomass handling terminal in Immingham, in a Humber-wide agreement with Drax Power Ltd that has seen £25 million invested in a biomass handling facility in Hull. The Immingham Renewable Fuels Terminal handles sustainable biomass shipments and will create over 100 permanent jobs once complete. The construction phase created 100 employment opportunities.

The Port of Hull handles 10 million tonnes of cargo per annum and is the is the focal point for the development of the UK’s largest offshore wind turbine manufacturing, construction, assembly, and service facility, which will be located on the Port’s Alexandra Dock. This new facility represents a £310 million investment and will create up to 1000 direct jobs.

The Grimsby River Terminal represents an investment of £26 million and allows large car-carrying ships to berth outside the Port’s lock system. This development confirms the Port’s position as the UK’s leading automotive handling facility.

More than the equivalent of 1million teus (twenty foot equivalent unit) of unitised trade is shipped through ABP Humber ports.

Goole is situated 50 miles upriver and is the UK’s premier inland port. It handles over one million tonnes of cargo annually.

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