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Talking Rivers

Arts & Culture Podcasts

Telling stories that explore and celebrate the social, cultural and natural history of the River Ribble and its tributaries.

Telling stories that explore and celebrate the social, cultural and natural history of the River Ribble and its tributaries.


United Kingdom


Telling stories that explore and celebrate the social, cultural and natural history of the River Ribble and its tributaries.






01200 444452


TR EP012 Dr Fiona Edmonds, Historian

In this podcast, historian Dr Fiona Edmonds explores on the history of the Ribble and its inhabitants. Born and brought up near the Ribble, Fiona's interest and passion for the's Ribble's historical importance is clear. Focussing on Roman, Viking and early Medieval history, we see how the Ribble is a dominating landscape feature which defines and unifies communities. It is also a boundary, a barrier, a crossing and meeting point, and a vital artery for transport and communication. We see how...


TR11 - Philippe Handford, Designer and Environmental Artist

'Burnley Pendle born and bred' is how Designer and Environmental Artist Philippe Handford describes himself. With a varied career that combines the influence of high fashion and cutting edge design with the Lancashire brooks where he grew up, Philippe strives to find and highlight the beauty of the natural world. He has also left his mark on our landscape, including his work to commemorate the Pendle Witch Trials of 1612, and the Pendle Sculpture trail. He has also designed cutlery sets,...


TR EP10 - Pete WIlson, United Utilities

With a background in farming, Pete Wilson has earth and water in his soul. After an early stint on farms, Pete spent approximately 10 years with the RSPB monitoring wildlife in the Forest of Bowland before moving to United Utilities approximately 10 years ago. His focus is now managing the vast United Utilities estates with the aim of improving drinking water. This varied and thoroughly rewarding role involves working closely with farmers and organisations like Natural England, Environment...


TR EP09 - Pete Leeson, Woodland Trust

The passions that drive Pete Leeson, Woodland Creation Advisor with the Woodland Trust, are his love of nature, the great outdoors, and music. Having experienced a varied career Pete is now settled in a job that he loves and which is helping protect and improve the habitats and health of our countryside, working in partership with many organisations to create woodlands across the Northwest. In this podcast he explains how his mother influenced him from an early age to think about how plants...


TR EP08 - Farming by the Ribble with the Bolton family, Sawley

The Bolton family have farmed at Bank Top Farm, Sawley since 1952. In this episode three generations of the family - Jean, Linda and Sarah - reminisce about bygone days and the changes they have seen over seven decades. They discuss how Jean and John came to buy the farm in their early 20's after working on other Ribble Valley farms after leaving school aged 14, changes in the dairy industry, the devastation of the 2001 foot and mouth outbreak, rebuilding the business with a flock of sheep,...


TR EP07 - Paul Sumner, Ribble Estuary Fisherman

Paul Sumner has fished the Ribble Estuary since his childhood in the 1970s. What started as a hobby became a way of life and he has braved the Northwest coastline year round in all weathers for almost 40 years. Paul provides a rare look at this unique way of life, describing the three types of fishing he does over the course of the year - Shrimp, Bass and Cockles. He also discusses the changes he's seen over the years, some of the challenges he and his fellow fishermen face, and some of the...


TR EP06 - Philip Lord, Ribble Rivers Trust

A keen angler from an early age, Philip Lord has spent a lifetime working to improve rivers. He has been Chairman of Ribble Rivers Trust since its creation and, as a resident of the Hodder Valley for 42 years, is passionate about the Ribble Catchment and all of its rivers. Philip's experience running a successful family business has been vital in supporting Ribble Rivers Trust to grow, and his willingness to learn from both successes and failures has ensured RRT continues to adapt and...


TR EP05 - John Lamb, Ecologist

John Lamb is a well known local ecologist and naturalist, having worked for Lancashire Wildlife Trust for over 20 years. In this podcast he shares thoughts about rivers, including memories such as fishing as young boy, his transition to ecology and his love of plants and their ability to survive and thrive in seemingly hostile places. He also shares his passion for the wild places that can still be found if you look for them, and his aspiration that everyone should get out and enjoy our...


TR EP04 - John Eccles, Ribble Pilot Boat Skipper

Todays Talking Rivers podcast features John Eccles sharing some of his memories about working as a Pilot Boat Skipper on the Ribble between 1959 and when Preston Docks close in 1982. John refers to Andrew Newsham, who joined him on the Pilot boats and who continues to look after the docks, as well as others he worked with over the years. He also talks about some of the boats he skippered, such as the Joan and the Valiant. Further information can be found on the Rbble Life Together website...


TR EP03 - Catherine Lancaster: Memories of the Ribble at Clitheroe

The Ribble at Clitheroe has a special place in Catherine 'Katie' Lancaster's heart. In this Podcast, Catherine shares a few of her happy memories including swimming, skating, skimming stones, her husband fishing and family picnics. Even the lady who was to make her wedding dress was a familiar figure down at the river. We also hear about the River Sprite Peg O'Nell, who is still said to haunt the Ribble. The Talking Rivers Podcast explores and celebrates the social, cultural and natural...


TR EP02 - Helen Dix, Environment Agency

In todays episode, Environment Agency Catchment Co-ordinator Helen Dix provides an insight in to the important role the Environment Agency play in protecting our rivers and protecting homes from flooding. Helen talks about the people who inspire her, why she is so passionate about what she does, and how education, strong relationships and good communication are key to changing minds and getting things done. The Talking Rivers Podcast explores and celebrates the social, cultural and natural...


TR Special Edition #1 - Anthony Howarth, Sabden

Anthony 'Tony' Howarth is long time resident of the Sabden village, Chair of Sabden Parish Council, activist, raconteur and occasional word smith. In 2017 when Ribble Rivers Trust created a 'rock ramp' fish pass on a disused weir in the centre of the village, Tony was a great supporter of the project and was involved throughout the process. This short Podcast captures some thoughts from Tony about the history and importance of Sabden Brook, as well as showcasing the short poem he wrote, now...


TR EP01 - Jack Spees, Ribble Rivers Trust

Welcome to Talking Rivers, a new Podcast that explores and celebrates the social, cultural and natural history of the River Ribble and its tributaries. Throughout the series we will talk to a range of people who live, work and visit our fantastic rivers and hear about what makes the Ribble Catchment so special to so many people. In this first podcast the Jack Spees, Chief Executive of Ribble Rivers Trust, describes his own river story, why thinking on a catchment scale is essential, how the...