West Cumbria Rivers Trust has a crucial role to play in raising awareness and increasing understanding of West Cumbria’s rivers and lakes. We do this by connecting with people locally to make a positive difference to the health of rivers, lakes, people and wildlife. To this end we have three core objectives, each with a specific set of goals.
Engaging communities and partnership organisations to enjoy our rivers and lakes by connecting people with rivers and nature.
Restoring natural processes within the catchment and making changes on land to optimise the passage of clean water for flood mitigation and water quality whilst improving habitat and connectivity.
Protect the unique biodiversity of our catchments by connecting habitats to protect wildlife at a catchment scale.
A large number of issues affect our freshwater environments from pollution to habitat modification, invasive species and flooding. Click here to find out more about them.
We use the techniques below to address these issues:
We are a dedicated bunch of environmental professionals from varied backgrounds. We are all passionate and enthusiastic about our work to improve and protect the varied watery landscapes and ecosystems within central and western Cumbria.
After many years invaluable service to the Trust, Ian now advises colleagues and partners on a wide range of projects and issues.
Ian previously worked for Environment Agency (and its predecessor) for over 16 years and this included spells in fisheries, water resources and pollution control.
Ian is passionate about Cumbria and improving our rivers for fish and a myriad of other species, both plants and animals. He lives in Keswick.
Karin joined the Trust in 2011 as our invasive non-native species (INNS) coordinator. She then successfully bid for and set up our Catchment Partnerships before moving on to delivering projects to improve land management, water quality & habitat creation.
Karin is currently delivering our People on the Keekle project, working on the Lower Keekle and Longlands Lake.
Karin previously worked for the Environment Agency, Bassenthwaite Reflections (HLF funded) and she was fortunate enough to work with Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust in the West Indies.
In her spare time Karin likes to play outdoors and eat cake.
Phil has been working at the Trust since 2015, and is the River Ehen Project Officer.
Phil has a background in conservation, including working for the Forestry Commission and the National Trust. She has a BSc in Zoology from Aberdeen University - and did once work at a zoo!! In her spare time you’ll find her helping on the family farm or playing rugby.
Chris joined us in 2015 as a Project Officer working on the Freshwater Mussel project within the Wasdale valley.
Chris previously worked with Eden Rivers Trust after completing a BSc Geography at Newcastle University. Outside of work Chris helps run the family beef and sheep farm near Workington.
Ruth is our Fisheries Project Officer working on several projects but primarily the River Derwent electrofishing programme. She lives on the west coast of Cumbria in Whitehaven. A keen geographer, she has a BSc in Physical Geography and an MSc in Polar and Alpine Change. Throughout her degrees she studied a range of topics but with a particular focus on geomorphology.
In her spare time Ruth loves to read and spend time knitting, sewing, gardening, baking, cycling and hiking.
Caitlin joined the Trust in May 2017 as Catchment Officer, working on our Catchment Partnerships, action plans, monitoring and delivering projects. Caitlin previously worked as a Project Officer for the Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust after finishing her PhD on the effects of farming on stream invertebrates.
Caitlin enjoys spending her spare time cycling, running, orienteering and swimming in the lakes.
Jonny is our St Johns Beck Site Officer. He grew up on a working farm in the Eden Valley and then moved to the north-east to study a BSc in Environmental Science and a Ph.D looking at the effects of long-term fertilisation on soil carbon.
As a keen cricketer, Jonny plays regularly for his local team in the summer. He also enjoys road cycling and walking in the Lake District fells.
Clair is one of the Trust’s Natural Flood Management Project Officers, covering the Glenderamackin catchment. She has previously worked as a ranger for the National Trust in the South Lakes and volunteered for The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) in Leeds. She has a degree in Geography from Newcastle University and is keen to use her geomorphology and conservation background in this new and exciting role.
In her spare time, Clair enjoys riding her mountain bike, road bike and swimming in many of the Lake District’s wonderful tarns.
Annabelle is the Natural Flood Management Project Officer covering the Cocker catchment (Loweswater, Crummock and Buttermere). She recently worked for Morecambe Bay Partnership, and previously with Wildlife Trusts managing a variety of conservation projects and nature reserves. She studied for an MSc in Protected Area Management, and previously gained post-graduate qualifications in Bird Conservation & Ornithology and Biological Monitoring & Species Identification. In her spare time, she looks after her animals and small acreage of land.
Cathy is our Learning and Engagement Manager. Her interest in wildlife conservation started when she spent a wet, muddy winter on the Isle of Arran volunteering for the National Trust for Scotland. She has since worked as conservation ranger for Center Parcs and returned to Arran as seasonal ranger. She’s coordinated a busy family learning programme for Tullie House Museum and most recently worked as an ecologist and wildlife engagement freelancer working as lead ecologist for a number of sites linked to the United Utilities new pipeline. Cathy comes from a long line of teachers and thinks that’s where her passion for education and engagement comes from. When Cathy’s not in her wellies with schools and communities river dipping you’ll find her walking her dog Flynn on the saltmarshes and mosses of the Solway coast.
Esther joined the team as a volunteer intern in November 2019 and is really excited to gain more experience in the environmental sector. She has a background in outdoor education, gained a BA in Outdoor Studies from the University of Cumbria, and is studying part time for an MSc in Outdoor Environmental and Sustainability Education through the University of Edinburgh. In her free time Esther spends a lot of time in the outdoors, mainly climbing and mountaineering.
Izzie is our Assistant Project Officer, working to manage invasive non-native species (INNS) across our catchments. Having previously gained a BSc in Environmental Geography from York and interning with the USNPS as a water quality monitoring intern, she then joined the trust as a voluntary intern in 2020 to gain more practical conservation experience. Izzie has previously assisted with our NFM monitoring, electrofishing surveys, INNS removal and tree planting efforts. She is excited to start her new role with the Trust and get stuck into tackling the INNS across West Cumbria.
In her spare time, you’ll find Izzie in a freezing cold lake, up a fell, or enjoying making her own clothes in front of a fire.
Sarah is our Project Assistant Trainee working on our Restoring the Derwent project. Sarah has recently completed a Countryside Worker apprenticeship with the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, before which she volunteered with the National Trust. She is eager to use her skills and knowledge on this exciting project.
In her spare time Sarah enjoys running, being out in the fells, reading, baking and eating cake.
After spending many years in retail customer service, Carol is our new office manager. Having always loved being outdoors more than indoors, and being keen to be involved in improving our local environment, she started volunteering with us in February 2021. Initial involvement with invasive species projects led to tree and hedge planting and maintenance, wild flower planting, electrofishing and enjoying helping out with anything else she could get involved with….and eventually office management.
In her free time, Carol can usually be found at the allotment, up a fell, swimming in a river or lake (temperature dependent), at the pottery studio, fermenting and pickling vegetables at home, or playing with her granddaughter, among all the many other things…. there’s always too much to do and never enough time!
Tom is our part time Voluntary Intern. Currently studying a BSc in Woodland Ecology and Conservation at Ambleside, he is interested in learning all aspects of the Trust’s work to further his education and learn new skills. In his spare time Tom can be found walking in the woods or roller skating in Carlisle.
David is one of our part time Voluntary Interns. Currently studying a BSc in Zoology at the University of Cumbria, he is interested in learning all aspects of the Trust’s work with an aim to help with community engagement in conservation, and gain knowledge about how conservation is undertaken. In his spare time David can be found climbing rocks or looking for insects!
Jodie, our Trust Director, started with us in November 2014 following a four-year conservation adventure on St Helena in the South Atlantic. Originally from North Yorkshire, she still can’t believe her luck at taking on this job with such a wonderful team and in such a fantastic location.
Jodie has worked in many parts of the UK and for a number of organisations, including the Wildlife Trust, the National Trust, a number of small charities, and County Councils.
Jodie helps the Trust deliver all its objectives and overcome the many challenges and hurdles along the way. Her particular passion is community engagement and education. She goes by the great David Attenborough’s mantra: “No one will protect what they don’t care about, and no one will care about what they have never experienced.”
Vikki joined the Trust in January 2013. She manages our successful Catchment Partnership work alongside managing a team of staff, overseeing the delivery of some of the Trust’s significant projects and managing the Trust’s consultancy work. As part of the senior management team Vikki works to ensure the Trust is successful and continues to deliver an ever increasing portfolio of delivery to improve our rivers and their catchments for people and wildlife. Vikki was born in bred in Keswick, and pleased to be back living and working in her home town, having previously worked as a Senior Ecologist in Leeds. In her spare time Vikki can mostly be found enjoying the outdoors with her young family.
Luke joined us in 2017 as the new Assistant Director, overseeing the river restoration programme. He previously worked for an environmental contractor and has a background in environmental restoration and outdoor education. Luke is constantly amazed and inspired by the team at the Trust. Whilst there are always challenges associated with improving the natural environment, there is real joy to be experienced when projects start to take shape and get delivered.
Having lived in Cumbria for 18 years Luke is passionate about the natural environment and, when not working, enjoys canoeing and walking with his young family and Labrador, Benny (official office-favourite dog).
We are governed by a Board of Trustees, comprising leading West Cumbrian businesspeople, environmental professionals and representatives of the public sector and wider community.
Our Board has the necessary range of skills and expertise to manage a charitable trust. The Board meets ten times a year and all meetings are minuted per Charity Commission guidance.
Trish has had a passion for the environment since persuading her chemistry teacher to take their sixth form class on a trip to her local sewage works! This led to a degree in Environmental Chemistry and subsequently a job as a Pollution Inspector with what is now the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency.
She moved south to live in the Lake District more than twenty years ago since when she has worked for Sellafield in a variety of roles relating to compliance and improvement for environment, health and safety.
She has relished bringing up her three children to enjoy the fells, rivers and lakes around them and the family are often to be found messing about in our lovely clean waters.
Having seen at first hand from her kids the positive impact that learning initiatives such as Forest Schools have on our next generation, she is keen to get involved, and muddy, with the Trust’s education and volunteering projects.
Mark is committed to the conservation of rivers and working to protect the great outdoors. As a keen salmon & trout fisherman Mark knows that most anglers are conservationists at heart and their role as the eyes and ears on the river banks is crucial in detecting pollution incidents while also recognising the presence of wildlife that is so often the barometer of healthy river systems.
Professionally Mark is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and works for Cumbria County Council in social care. This involves operating in an increasingly challenging environment and includes managing the £28m budget and supporting major changes in service redesign.
Mark has lots of positive energy and believes that anything is possible! We are delighted he has joined our Board of Trustees for both his enthusiasm and the invaluable HRM support and expertise he is able to provide the Trust.
Ross cares for a stretch of the River Marron which runs through his smallholding in West Cumbria, and is passionate about enhancing biodiversity and encouraging wildlife.
He lives with the river every day, and has worked in partnership with the Trust on a range of flood alleviation measures that also enhance the environment. These have included tree-planting, river bank protection, erosion control, wooded debris installations, holding water on the floodplain and minimising run-off from fields.
A parish councillor and primary school governor, Ross is a communications professional by trade and specialises in strategic communications, community relations and public consultation.
In his spare time, Ross enjoys walking his labrador Max over the Cumbrian fells, along its rivers and around its lakes.
Dave is, first and foremost, fascinated with all things water and rivers, what swims and lives in it, what surrounds it and, what effects its health and wellbeing. He is also a keen angler which periodically allows him to spend time on the river bank putting theory into practice.
In the professional area of his life Dave is the Head of Commercial for Sellafield Ltd. He has worked in the nuclear industry supply chain in a senior role for more than 25 years, primarily at Sellafield but also across other UK nuclear sites. The majority of this time has been spent leading supply chain strategic programmes focussed on “whole Life” acquisition cost as well as a broad commercial management role.
Dave brings drive and enthusiasm to the dealings of the Trust as well as strong commercial acumen.
We are delighted to welcome Lord and Lady Egremont as patrons of West Cumbria Rivers Trust. In showing their committed support to the Trust, Lord and Lady Egremont add prestige and credibility to our cause. His Lordship has been a dedicated supporter of the Trust through financial donations and also opening up his home at Cockermouth Castle for fundraising events.