Apologies for the negative vibe but certain parts of this otherwise pleasant article hit a bum note…

In the desire to embellish this article with colour and flourish, two misleading statements are made in this article regarding the state of our local nature. There are no “fat-bellied Salmon” in the River Don neither in the City nor in the upper reaches. Yes evidence of a very small number of Salmon returning have been found recently - these pioneers are able to return now the river is no longer a chemical soup as it was for centuries and yes, theoretically, they can now pass all the way upstream since the final of a series of fish passes have been installed on the five weirs. But the line “fat-bellied Salmon” paints a picture of abundance and rude health which is entirely false. With wild Salmon stocks across the entire northern hemisphere declining to alarming levels, a return to abundance and plenty is something we will have to work very hard to achieve and for now is a pipe dream.

Secondly where is this area of Kelham where nature is thriving. The captioned photo depicts about the only area on greenery in the entire district. Redevelopment of the area has singularly failed to include any green space at all as illustrated by the endless hrey hard paved landscaping of the Little Kelham development which was ironically marketed as “eco-homes.” There are no parks at all in the Kelham that I know of and none I have seen planned. The scant greenery which does force its way into our world, the self-set trees along the river banks and the bushes which form in the mid-stream shingle riffles are periodically obliterated by the Environment Agency in their misguided flood prevention works. Apart from Mallards, Moorhens and the occasional Heron the only wildlife of note on the Kelham Don is the Sand Martin colony which is mainly focussed around Rutland road bridge but also a few pairs at Ball Street bridge and near to the Riverside pub. The birds of this growing colony are a rare example of nature overcoming the odds to week out a living in our urbanised world but even these periodically come under threat when the Environment Agency come around needlessly blocking up their nest holes with cement in the name of flood prevention.

Nature is in crisis and the UK was recently declared one of the most nature depleted countries on the planet. Please can the reporting on the Tribune reflect this reality going and not try to inadvertently paper over the cracks.

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