A BLACKPOOL resident has urged the area to love its River Bride, amid concerns over dumping and a flood defence plan which will potentially cover parts of it over.
The river is a Lee tributary and runs to Killeens and the main channel is near Kerry Pike. The Blackpool section was rerouted several years ago to allow Blackpool Shopping Centre to be built.
Cartoonist Chris Moody, whose home backs onto the river, has long campaigned for the river to be protected amid plans contained in the Blackpool Flood Relief Scheme to culvert over some of the river to stop it bursting its banks. Dumping has been cited as a reason for flood events in recent years which caused damage to local businesses.
The proposed scheme will consist of a 350m culvert through Orchard Court.
Mr Moody said there is no evidence to suggest dumping has caused flooding but admitted locals are not too enamoured with the river on their doorstep, which leads to instances of fly-tipping.
He believes the river could be a centrepiece for Blackpool if it was embraced rather than covered over and has found evidence of several different forms of wildlife in research he has conducted.
“There has always been a dumping issue there and it seems to come in waves," Mr Moody said. "It has always been on a small scale and it’s always in the same places. You’ll see bags of rubbish in the same spots and sometimes large household items
“I do cleanouts every now and again but sometimes the items can be too big to clean out as they suck up the water and they become very heavy. I then call the council and they usually get it out.
“Dumping has been always been put forward as a reason for flooding in Blackpool but I know for a fact that it is not the case.
“The river is beautiful and it’s full of life with fish and otters. It just needs to be left alone and appreciated."
Green Party councillor Oliver Moran said the river is the subject of some “remarkable beauty” and culverting over it would be a retrograde step.
He added the area could be an “incredible asset” in plans to regenerate Blackpool.