Urban river restoration: Manchester’s River Irwell makes headlines in the Telegraph

Tom, Mike, Matthew Duddy - Paul Cooper

If you’ve followed this blog for any time at all, you’ll have no doubt about how much we love Manchester’s mighty Irwell system and its big wild trout. So we’ve been truly stoked to see that awesome urban river getting full attention from this weekend’s Telegraph

… complete with a namecheck for Trout in Dirty Places, and a profile of three generations of the Duddy family who’ve been closely involved in the river’s restoration so far:

Tom taught in the girls’ grammar school in the early 1970s, which was on the banks of the Irwell. 

“The river then was a by-word for filth and pollution,” he says. “If anybody fell in, they would be carted off to hospital straight away. Fortunately, Salford Royal was right next door to the school!” 

Now, here we are in 2015 and Manchester’s Lowry Hotel is offering guided fly fishing trips on its own river – the Irwell. Tom can’t quite believe he has lived to see it.

Salford Friendly Anglers is reputedly the oldest angling club in the world: today it boasts 2,500 members, and hosted the Wild Trout Trust’s Urban River Champions’ Conclave in 2013.

Inspired by the Wandle Trust’s ongoing success in restoring south London’s River Wandle (described in the article as ‘the UK’s first urban river success story’) Mike Duddy and the SFA crew are now turning their campaigning sights on cleaning up the Irk as well as developing new fisheries plans for the Irwell, and maybe the rest of the massive Mersey Basin too.

Click here to read Andrew Griffiths’ full story in the Telegraph, here to check out the Lowry’s guided urban fishing trips with Fish On Productions’ John Tyzack, and here if you’re still looking for the perfect fishing hoodies and hats for your own adventures in the urban jungle

(Photo: Paul Cooper / the Telegraph)

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