Upper Wharfe Catchment Partnership

The Upper Wharfe Catchment is located in northern England and we define the catchment as upstream of Bolton Abbey. The Upper Wharfe Catchment Partnership forms part of the Dales to Vales River Network Catchment Partnership hosted by the Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust. The Upper Wharfe provides a perfect area to focus on the delivery of natural flood management (NFM).

Pilot location:  Upper Wharfe Catchment in Yorkshire Dales, UK

Lead beneficiary: Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust

More about this pilot project:

Dales to Vale River Network – the Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust (YDRT) hosts the local catchment partnership.  The Dales to Vale River Network is a catchment partnership that brings together local people, communities, organisations and businesses to make decisions on managing the interconnected bodies of water in the eastern/ Humber watershed of the Yorkshire Dales as well as the Vales of York and Mowbray.   More information can be found on the website

The Upper Wharfe Pilot area fits within the context of the wider Dales to Vale River Network.  We define the Upper Wharfe area as the catchment upstream of Bolton (Abbey) Bridge, which is upstream of the town of Ilkley.  The Upper Wharfe provides a perfect area to focus on the delivery of natural flood management (NFM) through existing projects and integrating a holistic partnership led approach.

Through the course of this project, we aim to demonstrate how focused engagement and joint working can build relationships and deliver environmental, economic and social benefits in the form of improved water quality and habitat, reduced flood risk, increased community connection and resilience to climate change.  Our new model for working with others in the catchment is participatory – we aim to combine the science which has informed European and national policy (top-down) with local knowledge and experience (bottom up) to implement the best landscape decisions across the catchment.   Following the project, we aim to apply the lessons learnt from this sub-catchment and other pilot areas across Europe to the wider Dales to Vale River Network area.

Watch the video about the demonstration area and the Natural Flood Management techniques that have been put in place: