Passionate about making the River Holme a better place for people, businesses and wildlife

Making a difference

Our rivers are a vital part of the world’s ecosystem, providing fresh water and nourishment for wildlife and people, and the River Holme is no exception.

Unfortunately, years of unintentional neglect has led to the arrival of invasive species, while littering has polluted the river. All of which threatens this delicate environment.

Here at River Holme Connections we want to change this decline. Our aim is to restore a healthy balance to the river. But we can’t do it alone. That’s why we’re encouraging local people, businesses and visitors to join us in caring for this valuable resource.

By working together, we want to make the River Holme a better place for people, business and wildlife.

 

Read our Annual Report to find out more about our achievements to date and our plans for the future.

How it all started

A group of like-minded individuals decided it was time to change the course of the River Holme’s decline. In 2015, they founded the charity River 2015. Today, using the public name River Holme Connections and with the help of dedicated volunteers, the future is looking bright for the River Holme.

How we're making a difference

At River Holme Connections, we’re using a Catchment Based Approach. This community-led model works by engaging people and groups from across all sectors of society to help improve our local rivers. We’re steadily working our way through the catchment, from Holme to Huddersfield, taking in tributaries along the way, to achieve our long-term aim that people will be able to access clean, diverse and wildlife-rich local rivers for work and play.

We’ve already completed capital projects, held numerous litter-picking work parties, cleared miles of invasive species from riverbanks and taken part in community events. You can read more about all of these in Our Projects.

Plans for the future

It’s an exciting time for our charity. We’re growing the team and we’ve secured funding for many more projects that will make a big difference to the River Holme and to the people and wildlife who live here or visit the river. Find out more about our future projects.

Our team

The people working hard to make it happen
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Kim Warren

Project Officer

Kim has a background of 25 years working in environmental, education and community projects. Kim oversees many elements of River Holme Connections work.

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Jane Skilling

Project Support

Jane has worked in environmental education roles and has senior management administration experience. Jane provides vital support for the charity and its various events and projects.

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Simon Hirst

River Steward

With a Masters in Environmental Engineering, Simon started his career in water treatment. More recently he's worked as a freshwater ecologist for the Environment Agency and as a river project manager for the North York Moors National Park. Simon has returned to his home town of Huddersfield, and brings his vast experience to the River Holme Connections team.

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Jeanette Dyson

Communications Lead

With a background in PR and communications, Jeanette joined the team to help spread the word about River Holme Connections. As well as promoting our projects and events, Jeanette is the contact for media enquiries.

Our trustees

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Adrian Barraclough

Chair

An eco-preneur, Adrian has worked in senior operations and business development leadership roles in public, private and SME organisations. He has a deep knowledge and interest in sustainable technology and innovation, business development, governance and environmental regulation.

Adrian was previously gold commander for major flooding between 2007 and 2014 and advisor to government on the UK marine task force and Icelandic volcano incident. Adrian currently leads a local environmental consultancy and eco-development company.

Lynva Russell

Lynva Russell

A senior executive with 35 years in private, public and third sector leadership roles, Lynva has extensive knowledge of finance, governance and partnering. Lynva has undertaken numerous board and advisory positions in the UK and abroad. Her main focus is on sustainability, energy, manufacture, education, health and design. Lynva is a former Trustee for HLF, which funded the John Clare Museum from conception to completion from 2008 to 2016.

Richard Ashley

Richard Ashley

Richard is a Professional Civil Engineer with 50 years urban drainage experience in practice and as an academic. He is Emeritus Professor of Urban Water, University of Sheffield, Adjunct Professor, Lulea Technical University and Professor of Flood Resilience at UNESCO IHE, Delft. Richard was the recipient of the (IWA/IAHR) Joint Committee on Urban Drainage triennial Career achievement award in 2014 and for his research into sustainable water systems in 2008.

Mike Williams

Mike Williams

Secretary & Treasurer

Mike was a founder member of Holmfirth Transition Town (HoTT) of which he is Hon. Treasurer. He is Company Secretary of HoTTWind@Longley Ltd., which supplies Longley Farm with green electricity. Prior to retirement Mike owned a consultancy company working in the not for profit sector with his partner Janet Williams. Mike's specialisms are HR, strategic and business planning, financial and management control systems.

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Mike Bowman

Mike was Senior Functional Vice President of BP and Global Head of Geoscience until 2011. He was also a previous Professorial Chair at Manchester University and is currently Professorial Chair at Texas A&M University, Qatar campus. Mike is an advisor to companies, teaching groups and investors, and the non-executive director for a small oil and gas company. Mike teaches external courses and lectures on geosciences and the oil industry.

William O’Brien

William O'Brien

Owner of a progressive, specialist electronics company. 45 years innovative, entrepreneurial ground - breaking business leadership. Key member of local business groups. Extensive engagement in charitable activities. Coordinator and lead Holme Valley Community First Responder scheme providing life saving support for the Community and NHS. Leading light in local pantomime circuit!

Clare Ash

Clare Ash

Clare lives in Meltham and works as a GP. She has a keen interest in helping to engage with communities and improve access to our rivers to benefit the health and wellbeing of residents in the River Holme Catchment.