Derwent Riverlands - behind the scenes

A timelapse shot showing a calm river flowing through woodlands in autumn colours

The river Derwent is a mountain river. It runs from Sprinkling Tarn in the high Lake District fells out to the sea at Workington. On the way it passes through Cumbrian towns and villages, farmland and woodland, peat bogs and dockyards. All of these make up the Derwent 'catchment' - the lands that the river flows through; The Derwent's 'riverlands'

It's home to otters, atlantic salmon and the UK's rarest freshwater fish, the vendace. But it's under pressure from climate change, pollution and man-made alterations to its course.

So, as part of a national programme to improve the health of rivers across England and Wales, we've launched the Derwent Riverlands project.

On this project timeline, we'll be posting regular updates of the work we're doing behind the scenes, so keep checking back in to stay up to date.

Latest updates

02 Sep 21

Green Recovery Challenge Funding

We were recently successful in a bid to the Government's Green Recovery Challenge Fund. The fund was developed by Defra and its Arm's-Length Bodies and is being delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England, the Environment Agency and Forestry Commission. The grant includes funding for a collaboration between Riverlands and West Cumbria Rivers Trust to deliver education and outreach around the Derwent catchment, including forest schools, green gyms, and volunteering events tackling invasive species such as Himalayan balsam. The funding will support this work through 2022 so keep an eye on the West Cumbria Rivers Trust website for upcoming events.

Green Recovery Challenge logos

14 Jul 21

In bloom

Only a couple of months after works finishing on Armboth Fell the restored bog pools are thriving and the cotton grass planted last month is flowering. The work, completed in partnership with the National Trust Riverlands project, Fix the Fells, Cumbria Wildlife Trust, Natural England and United Utilities, has improved access through the addition of a stone path and restored a heavily eroded area of bare peat, providing nature with a little help and space to recover.

Cotton grass plug plants flowering on Armboth Fell

11 Jun 21

Plug planting on Armboth Fell

Volunteers recently joined our partners Cumbria Wildlife Trust on Armboth Fell for the final touches on the peat restoration works which took place earlier this year. Several thousand plugs of cotton grass were planted by hand across areas of exposed peat. This species is native to peatlands and wetlands and as the plants grow their root systems will help stabilise the restored areas and reduce erosion.

Volunteers plug planting on Armboth Fell