Welcome to DNAire

DNAire is all about revitalising the River Aire.

Our National Lottery Heritage Fund supported DNAire project will once again see salmon living and breeding in the River Aire – from the sea to the Dales.

This exciting £2.3m project will:

Engage visitors and locals with the natural and industrial heritage of their fantastic river, reconnecting them to nature;

Provide training opportunities for young people and local communities;

Create opportunities for communities to care for and cherish their amazing river; 

Reconnect the ecology of the River Aire by installing fish passes on the remaining four high weirs.  This will enable salmon to return to the headwaters for the first time in over 200 years bringing with them many other fish species, such as roach, chubb and pike, that will flourish in on our newly reconnected river.

In 1866 the Leeds Intelligencer published an article that lamented the polluted state of their nineteenth century River Aire and claimed “the salmon was of all created things the most unhappy; for, from the moment of his birth to the moment when he was put into the pot to be boiled, he had not one single friend.”

We simply don’t believe that is true.

The Environment Agency and The Aire Rivers Trust are working in partnership to build fish passes on the last four major weirs on this vibrant river.  This will allow the iconic salmon to once again be seen living and breeding in your river.  Reconnecting the river will also help other fish populations, such as lamprey, sea trout and coarse fish, to expand their breeding range.  With this resurgence in life in our river comes otters, king fishers, water voles and so many other species we love and cherish. 

The DNAire project wants to get people out enjoying their river and experiencing its rich wildlife and heritage. We need your help to us create new leisure, education and volunteering opportunities.

Who will benefit?

This will provide wide benefits for people, communities, the natural environment and heritage along the River Aire from Leeds to Gargrave.  We want to make the River Aire an exciting and enjoyable destination to visit for both locals and people living across the region.

This project is the final link in a chain of activity by many agencies over many years that have already improved the water quality and connected up the river for fish further downstream.

Watch this short film about the recovery of Yorkshire’s rivers.

DNAire has received support from the Heritage Lottery Fund.  This is allowing us to talk to the public; experts and other groups to develop plans for fish pass and public events in preparation for a Second Stage Heritage Lottery Fund bid in mid-2019.