A SITE that was blighted by some of the worst fly-tipping in the district has been 'reclaimed by nature'.

Almost exactly a year ago, a fence was installed along a stretch of North Beck in Keighley in an attempt to tackle the horrific fly-tipping that had turned the bank at the side of the waterway into a tip.

The work was done by the Aire Rivers Trust thanks to a £9,000 grant from the Gannett Foundation, the charitable arm of the Keighley News' parent company.

Now the site is almost unrecognisable.

The Aire Rivers Trust had applied for funding to secure the site.

Steep banks alongside the beck meant it was difficult to recover any waste thrown over the side – and as a consequence some of the dumped items had been there for several years.

The fact the land was unregistered meant clearing the waste was not any individual or organisation’s responsibility.

The trust feared that as well as being an eyesore, the waste could end up in the beck, polluting the local water system.

The Gannett Foundation grant helped fund a 45-metre-long, 2.4-metre-high fence along the unregistered stretch of the bank on Mohair Street, off Becks Road.

The fence was seen as the best way of preventing people from emptying waste from vehicles over the wall and down the bank.

Shortly before the fence was installed, the group was involved in a major clean-up of the site. Within just a few days of work beginning, five wagon-loads of waste was removed from the banks – including furniture, electrical goods and ride-on toys.

After the site was cleared, trust members hoped the work would lead to the area becoming the waterside nature haven it should be.

Since being installed, it appears that the fence has done its job of deterring people from illegal dumping at the site.

And without tonnes of waste spoiling the site, vegetation has thrived. And it is hoped that the improvement will lead to wildlife populating the banks.

Kevin Sunderland, Aire Rivers Trust trustee, said: “Vegetation has reclaimed the land and it will be a haven for insects and birds during the spring and summer.

“It’s still intact and seems to have lifted the whole area.

“There is a little bit of rubbish on the banking but it is only the odd smaller item which has been thrown over the fence. We intend to move this when coronavirus permits.”