A MAJOR celebration of ongoing efforts to clean up Burnley’s town centre waterways will take place next weekend.
Supporters of the Ribble Rivers Trust’s interventions on the Rivers Calder and Brun are planning outdoor theatre, a multi-media presentation and live music under the banner of ‘The Big Splash’.
Already the Urban River Enhancement Scheme has seen a number of changes to the two rivers, beginning with new fish passes where they converge at Calder Vale Bridge and similar ladders in the likes of Thompson Park and Queen’s Park.
Another major project saw narrow river channels, carrying the River Calder past Holden Street and Elizabeth Street, widened to give migrating fish a fighting chance of spawning further upstream.
Earlier this year Burnley Youth Theatre staged a series of auditions for a huge open-air production, featuring spirit puppets and water dragons.
The final performance took place in April but trust officials were so impressed that they will be hosting a repeat showing in the town centre as part of the day, which will take place from 11am to 3pm on St James Street.
Neil Ashworth, URES project assistant, said: “I was surprised at just how quickly and creatively the young people welcomed and embraced the activities.
“Their enthusiasm was fantastic and infectious and Burnley Youth Theatre left the group wanting more.”
Workshops have also been held at the town’s central library for youngsters to make, decorate and name their own fish, which will all be contenders in the town’s first-ever ‘fish race’ on the River Brun.
Young people who have been taking part in Undercurrents, offering free film-making, visual arts, creative writing and photography workshops, will also unveil a ‘surprise’ piece of work, crafted for the occasion.
The URES, backed by the Heritage Lottery Fund, has been running in Burnley since 2011 and has won through to the finals of a TV competition to find the nation’s favourite lottery-backed environmental scheme.