Rivers, streams and running water | Barnsley Biodiversity Plan
Barnsley Biodiversity Trust: Barnsley Biodiversity Action Plan. Last Updated May 2018

Running water: rivers and streams support a special range of wildlife: not only fish species such as Bullhead, Eel and Brown Trout but also other wildlife such as Water Vole and Otter.


Fish passes will help Salmon come back to Barnsley. The White-clawed Crayfish may however be lost as non-native species take over.

Human influence. Rivers and streams have often been modified by human activity: dams, weirs and culverts, artificial channels, embanking and flood defences. Some wildlife utilise these manmade features, others, such as fish unable to get to spawning grounds, have suffered


Our river catchments

Swiftly-flowing, upland moorland streams run through steep-sided wooded valleys in the west of the Barnsley area forming the Upper River Don Catchment.


Nutrient poor, they support a wide range of mosses and liverworts and relatively few species of higher plants. The invertebrate fauna is dominated by stoneflies, mayflies and caddisflies while fish such as Brown Trout, Bullhead and Stone Loach will often be present as will birds like Common Sandpiper and Dipper.


In contrast, the lowland rivers and streams in the east of Barnsley which form the River Dearne catchment, are more nutrient-rich and have coarse fish such as Chub, Dace, Gudgeon and Roach, and Eel.


Aquatic higher plants are infrequent but lower plants, invertebrates, and birds including Goosander and Kingfisher are of importance.

Priority habitat details

Running water is a local priority habitat.


‘Rivers and streams’ is a national broad habitat category;


‘Running water’ is identified in Phase 1 habitat surveys.


The national (UKBAP) river priority habitat in Barnsley includes:


River headwaters:


Active shingle rivers:


Rivers with priority species dependent on habitat quality
- at least one priority species strongly dependent; or

- six priority species less dependent, on habitat quality


The local priority habitat includes water courses that support priority species, good populations of other key species or provide rich sites for invertebrates or plants.


However all rivers and streams in Barnsley have possible value for wildlife and should be viewed as potential local priority habitat


Information on sites that qualify is given via the link below.

Please use the following links for more information on running water