The prime funding source for these projects was provided by United Utilities (UU) to help improve the health of the North West’s rivers. The projects were managed by West Cumbria Rivers Trust in partnership with the Environment Agency, Rivers Corridor Group, Keswick Anglers, James Spedding, Lake District National Park Apprentices, Woodland Trust and landowners. Without our partners additional financial and ‘in kind’ support, it would not have been possible to achieve such a range of projects, over such a wide area in such a short space of time.The target area for improvements was the River Derwent between Derwent Water and Bassenthwaite Lake.

The projects were designed to:-

  • Mitigate excessive bank erosion (i.e. fencing off of river banks, ‘soft’ bank engineering, riparian tree management (coppicing & pollarding), willow spilling and tree planting)
  • Improve the poor in-stream habitat for fish and other species to increase their numbers (i.e. the provision of wooded debris and fencing off river banking’s to encourage marginal vegetation)
  • Provide spawning gravels in a key tributary of the R Derwent (Lair Beck) to increase spawning opportunity and success

Fifteen projects were identified after a walk over survey. It wasn’t possible to fund all these projects, so each project was ranked. Eight primary projects were completed in addition to minor improvements elsewhere within the reach.