Chris Firth MBE – Trustee
On his retirement in 2004 Chris helped form the Don Catchment Rivers Trust and became a Director and Trustee when the Trust received its charitable status in 2010. His experience and knowledge means that he can provide invaluable contributions to many aspects of the Trust’s work, personal highlights of this have been the Living Heritage of the River Don and Hidden Heritage Secret Streams.
Chris was born in Doncaster close to the banks of the River Don and early in life developed a passionate interest in the river. Although he began his working career in engineering, in 1975 he took up a post as a Fisheries Bailiff working in the West Cumbria area of the Lake District. In 1977 he moved to Beverley where he began work with the Yorkshire Water Authority as a Fisheries Inspector. Here his responsibilities included all aspects of fishery management including the management of the licenced salmon net fishery along the Yorkshire coast.
In 1983 he was promoted to Fisheries Officer based at Doncaster and began work on the rehabilitation of the River Don and its fishery. This included one of the first ever re-meandering schemes of an industrial river (the River Dearne) and the hugely innovative Crimpsall Rock Ramp fish pass on the River Don. In 1999, following dramatic improvements in the environment and ecology of the Don system, the Environment Agency published his book ‘Doomsday to the Dawn of the New Millennium’ an account of the demise and recovery of the fish populations of the river. In 2000 he was awarded an MBE for services to the Environment and Community.
Chris is a lifelong fitness fanatic and played for the Doncaster’s premier rugby league side ‘The Dons’ and was an active member of Doncaster Athletics Club. An avid angler, he can be found on the riverbank or spending time with family.