Swale | Ure | Nidd | Ouse | Wharfe

DVRN Catchments

Our river environments provide a wide range of services including water supply, recreation, agriculture, fisheries and flood defence, making river management a balancing act of the needs of all the users, owners and organisations who have responsibilities relating to the environment. 

The DVRN works collaboratively to co-ordinate activities within our catchments that will allow our rivers to move from surviving to thriving.

Using available data we have summarised the current condition and issues in each catchment and through local consultation meetings we have identified and prioritised a Catchment Management Plan for each Catchment. These plans have been drawn together in an interactive story map, which allows you to browse through the issues using a map of the river.

The story maps give you information on the DVRN Catchments and our priority issues. The Rivers Trust have produced an interactive report on the State of Our Rivers which gives you information on all the rivers and their catchments in England.

In Dec 2020, the River Wharfe at Ilkley became the first river Bathing Water Site in England. The Environment Agency has just launched the Citizen Space page about the River Wharfe and the Ilkley Bathing water site which provides information on the River, key issues in the catchment, the bathing water designation and the partnership work that is happening in the catchment.

Catchment Management Plans

We are just finalising the story maps for our catchments.  You will be able to use the story maps to explore the issues in the areas you are interested in, and the projects/ideas developed to address these. If you have ideas for work in the catchments use the project ideas form to let us know about them and we will get back to you to discuss it and help take it forward.

Issues In Our Catchments

As part of the wider River Basin Management Plan review process we have used existing data & evidence along with our collective knowledge of our catchments to identify the Top 3 Priority Challenges facing our catchments:

Issues in


Physical modifications:

Fish passage restricted by historical barriers and lowland areas have been historically drained for farming.

Pollution from Agriculture and Rural Areas:

Predominantly a rural catchment causing widespread problems with sediment loading and phosphate.

Invasive Non-native Species:

We have strong populations of native crayfish that are under threat and issues with rapidly spreading riparian invasive plants.

Issues in

Wharfe and Lower Ouse

Physical modifications:

Fish passage restricted by barriers from industrial past and lowland areas have been historically drained for farming.

Pollution from Waste Water:

Historical combined sewage systems and non mains drainage impacting recreational use of the rivers.

Pollution from Agriculture and Rural Areas:

Tributaries in this rural catchment are impacted by land management practices.


To see the full data set for our catchments, visit the online CaBA Evidence Review Tool – a web based application for exploring the online data package which allows you to browse the categories, overlay different layers and print out maps.


We are currently working to develop a visual spatial data hub where partner organisations and citizen scientists can upload and share and view data collected in our catchments.  If you or your organisation hold a data set or undertake regular monitoring in our catchments please contact Charlotte Simons to get involved in developing this facility.