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Green light for Ullswater partnership project

Rebecca Powell, Riverlands Project Manager

A partnership project to reduce flooding and benefit wildlife in the Ullswater Valley has been given the go-ahead.

The Lake District National Park Authority has approved plans submitted by the National Trust and work will start next spring (2020).

The project has the support of the Parish Council, the Eden Catchment Management Group, the Environment Agency, Natural England, Cumbria County Council and involves National Trust tenant farmers.

The work, estimated to cost around £470,000, involves creating a new channel for Goldrill Beck to slow its flow and the lowering of the embankment at Side Farm so water will fill National Trust tenant fields at times of peak flow.

The National Trust says this will reduce the impact of heavy rainfall on key infrastructure in the valley, including the A592, and help to keep water back from communities further downstream.

As the National Trust’s Project Manager Rebecca Powell explained: “In the last 10 years the valley has suffered three major storms, including Storm Desmond in 2015. Experts tell us the flood peak could be significantly reduced if we can create a large area for storing water below Cow Bridge, in tenant fields, taking pressure off the road in times of flood.

“This is about helping the wider landscape to absorb the effects of the weather to improve flood resilience, water quality and wildlife habitats. Once work starts we hope the local community will carry on being involved through talks and volunteer days.

“Our next steps will be to appoint a contractor and to undertake some preliminary ground exploration work in preparation for work starting next spring,” added Rebecca Powell.

Anyone interested in finding out more, or wanting to follow the progress of the project should visit this web page: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/aira-force-and-ullswater

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