It's an exciting time for River Holme Connections as we welcome Simon Hirst to the team as our new River Steward. Simon’s appointment, which will allow us to do even more to make the River Holme a better place for people, business and wildlife. He’ll work with volunteers, community groups and other partners to improve the management, biodiversity and access to the river and greenspaces throughout our catchment area.
Simon, will also be responsible for encouraging landowners along the River Holme to understand the benefits of carrying out their responsibilities and becoming stewards for their section of the river. Lynva Russell, River Holme Connections Trustee, said:
“This is a big step forward for our charity. Our aim is to make the River Holme a better place for people, business and wildlife and Simon’s appointment will help us to make this a reality.”
Originally from Huddersfield, and a keen angler, Simon gained a Masters in Environmental Engineering, before starting 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, who has a young family, recently returned home to Huddersfield and is looking forward to sharing his vast experience with the River Holme Connections team. He said:
“I grew up around here and spent hours fishing on the rivers around Huddersfield, so it’s a huge opportunity for me to give something back. It’s also an exciting time to join River Holme Connections as we’ve some amazing projects planned for this year, which I’m looking forward to getting involved with.”
Simon has lots of ideas for encouraging more people to look after the River Home. He said:
“The charity already has a core of really dedicated volunteers and I’m looking forward to getting even more people involved and passionate about looking after our river and wildlife. I also want to get more schools involved and be able to show young people the rich ecosystems that our rivers support.”
Simon officially joined the River Holme Connections team on 9 July. You can meet Simon at his first event, which will be River Holme Connections Third Saturday Work Party on 21 July, when the team and volunteers will be tidying up Thongsbridge recreation ground, off Miry Lane behind the cricket field, ready for installing a wild play area later this year.