MEMBERS of the Friends of Ilkley Moor (FoIM) were surprised and delighted when the Ilkley Carnival Committee presented a cheque for £10,000 to FoIM.

The money was handed over at the FoIM AGM at the Clarke Foley, Ilkley, on Friday, May 6.

Owen Wells, Chair of FoIM said: "We knew we were to be the principal beneficiary of this year's Carnival but the size of the cheque came as a complete surprise. We knew that this year's carnival had been a great success, but, even so, we were astonished by the Carnival's generosity.

"There is always so much work to do, to keep our Moor in the best possible state, that we shall have no difficulty in spending the money. The value in peatland restoration, both from a carbon capture and a flood management perspective, is well recognised. We have a number of projects for peatland restoration under consideration. This cheque will make at least one of those projects come true."

In addition to receiving the cheque from the carnival, the FoIM heard a stunning - and rather shocking - presentation from Professor Rick Battarbee, of the Ilkley Clean River Group, about the sewage pollution of the River Wharfe.

Prof Battarbee, who is Emeritus Professor of Environmental Change at University College, London, made the powerful point that discharges from the Ashlands Sewage Works of even, so called, 'treated' sewage were so polluted with bacteria that swimming or paddling below the sewage works at Beanlands Island on the River Wharfe in Ilkley is always dangerous.

In his Chair's report to the AGM, Owen Wells paid especial tribute to the hard work of the FoIM volunteers, the work parties on the Moor and to the FoIM litter picking volunteers who clean litter throughout the town.

Owen Wells added: "I am extremely lucky to be backed by a very hard-working committee and the work of the FoIM committee together with the work of our volunteers and the support of our members means that FoIM continues to be the biggest and best supported Friends group in the Bradford area."