"> Eden Rivers Trust awarded £1.2m funding to further improve and protect Eden’s rivers
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Eden Rivers Trust awarded £1.2m funding to further improve and protect Eden’s rivers

Slowing the flow of water by reconnecting the floodplain and widening the River Lyvennet at Kemplee in 2017.

[E]den Rivers Trust has announced that they have been awarded £1.2m towards their £1.5m 2018-2023 river restoration programme, improving and protecting key tributaries and rivers in the Eden catchment; helping to create a healthy Eden for all.

Thanks to this support from the Environment Agency, they will be able to continue their vital river restoration work, focusing on six key river catchments: Caldew, Eamont, Lowther, Leith, Lyvennet and Scandal Beck. All of which make up part of the Eden Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) and Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

The River Eden Restoration Strategy was launched in 2015 with the aim of restoring natural processes within the catchment, focusing in particular on the designated SAC and SSSI reaches to:

  • encourage more natural flow of water – both in the river itself and how it’s held on the land, and
  • improve habitat quality and connectivity.

In many cases, this also has an additional benefit of reducing potential flood risk downstream. The trust achieves all this by working closely with landowners to find solutions that help everyone.

To date, the focus has been mainly on barrier removal and reconnecting floodplains with the river, as well as undertaking feasibility studies for potential sites for this phase of the programme.

Over the next five years, they will be undertaking projects with key partners that will restore natural river processes, improve water quality and habitat, and, where possible, install appropriate natural flood management features to help mitigate local flooding in the six key river catchments.

The Scandal Beck catchment is a new addition to the programme from 2018 onwards. Along with the upper Lyvennet, it features as a project within the Heritage Lottery funded Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership scheme. The partnership, of which Eden Rivers Trust is an important partner, is led by Friends of the Lake District.

Eden Rivers Trust’s current role in this project involves consulting with local stakeholders to identify opportunities, and planning projects that will include elements of river restoration complemented by the installation of natural flood management features. They hope to deliver more if the partnership’s delivery phase bid is successful, which will be determined later this year.

Daniel Brazier, River Restoration Manager, Eden Rivers Trust said: “Our river restoration work has gone from strength to strength over the last few years as a result of a lot of hard work and joint effort from landowners and other project partners. Securing this new funding from the Environment Agency for the next five years will allow us to achieve so much more in partnership with others.

“I would urge anyone who is interested in being part of this type of work in our target catchments to get in touch with us, be it landowner or other interested groups and organisations.”

Elizabeth Radford, CEO, Eden Rivers Trust said: “Eden Rivers Trust is absolutely delighted with this huge boost to our River Restoration programme, and excited about the improvement to the health and habitats of Eden’s Rivers that will result from this grant.

“It is testament to the great partnership we have with the Environment Agency and our history of delivery successful joints projects, as well as the foresight of the landowners in the Eden who are willing to work with us to ensure Eden’s unique and wonderful river environment is maintained and improved for the future.”

Oliver Southgate, Project Manager-River Restoration, Environment Agency added: “We are proud to continue our support for the Eden Rivers Trust’s restoration programme. We have already realised many great wins over the last seven years since the river restoration programme began, so here’s to many more environmental wins for the Eden catchment over the next five years.”

Get involved

Do you live/work/farm in one of our target catchments and interested in being part of this work? To get involved and find out more about how river restoration can benefit your land, the river and the communities around you, please get in touch with Daniel Brazier on 01768 866788 or email [email protected]

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