River restoration – Osbaldwick Beck

This case study focuses on the proposed river restoration going on at Osbaldwick Beck as it meanders and then culverts (gets buried underground) at St. Nick’s Environment centre. The idea behind the project – with the council, the Environment Agency and engineering contractors working collaboratively to develop proposals – is to rediscover the buried part of the beck and create a new route for the water to flow. It is currently in the planning stages which is why it is a perfect opportunity to hear from people who live in the community to understand what would be important, that is, what would be of value in such a project.

Making a new course for the river may mean lots of different things to people. There may be new opportunities – to spot wildlife, go for walks, better cycle paths – or perhaps people may not like the idea, and rather the river was covered.

Also what happens if we think about this project from a different perspective, say that of the river or the more-than human world of wildlife that also live with the rivers? Does the river want to flow in this new direction? Will creatures appreciate this new route? What might the benefits of this project be and for whom? These questions and more will be the basis of the inquiry in this case study.