Better Rivers Funding for Friends of Ladybrook Valley

18 Jun 2024

A Stockport group dedicated to cleaning up the local river and reducing the spread of invasive non-native species has been boosted with new equipment thanks to United Utilities Better Rivers Fund.

The Friends of Ladybrook Valley Cheadle Hulme was established a year ago to improve and promote the natural environment, helping to safeguard it for future generations.  

The group of volunteers take part in a range of activities including litter picks, Himalayan ‘Balsam Bashing’ events to reduce the spread of invasive species as well as monitoring fruit trees growing along the valley.

To support the group with its activities, United Utilities River Rangers presented its members with equipment including gloves, waders, folding litter pick grabbers as well as bin bag holders.

The Rangers also spent a day with the group helping them to tackle Himalayan Balsam.

Volunteer Amanda Kelly said: “We wanted to do our bit to help the local environment and started out litter picking but we could also see how far Himalayan Balsam has spread. You can either feel demoralised by its growth, or you can do something about it.

“We decided to help stop the spread so that the local community can enjoy their local area.

“Thanks to the Better Rivers Community Fund we now have the equipment to continue with the work and we can also encourage even more volunteers to help us.”

Shelina Begum, United Utilities Area Engagement Lead for Greater Manchester, said: “It’s great to see how our Better Rivers Better North West Community Fund is helping grass roots community groups to make a real difference to their environment.

“The Friends of Ladybrook Valley Cheadle Hulme has only been established for a year, but we can see how quickly they are growing and the positive impact they are having already. They are doing a tremendous job and we we’re extremely happy to help.”