Ecologists are appealing for help to revitalise Bradford Beck, which they say could provide social, economic and environmental benefits to the city.

The Aire Rivers Trust has been tasked by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to devise a management plan for improving the 11km waterway, which runs above ground along Canal Road, and is appealing for community groups, stakeholders and individuals to get involved.

The charity is also seeking volunteers to help boost the water quality of the beck, which has improved since the decline of heavy industry in the city.

A water sampling training event will be held on Thursday, June 14, at Bradford University, where participants will learn how to collect water samples for academic analysis.

Volunteers will be given sections of the river from which to take regular samples until February next year, to monitor contamination levels.

Bradford Beck project officer Michael Canning said improving the river would result in a range of benefits for people living in the surrounding area.

He said: “Everyone gets pleasure from a river. It’s a place to walk or sit, to look at and admire, to play, to see wildlife, as well as a place to listen to nature and contemplate.

“Healthy rivers work for us. They reduce flooding, provide clean water, increase wildlife and biodiversity and reduce pollution. Good waterside settings attract good businesses and jobs and increase property and values.”

Professor David Lerner, of the Aire Rivers Trust, said work needed to be carried out so Bradford Beck could be enjoyed by people in the city.

He said: “Canal Road is a major redevelopment area. Here’s a fantastic opportunity to create a wonderful riverside park, but most people wouldn’t even know there’s a river here.”

For more information about the event in June, which starts at 1pm, email