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

05 Aug 19

Work starts on Ings Woodland restoration

We've started work on Ings woodland restoration. We're aiming to improve the health of this internationally significant wet woodland habitat by removing the existing path and replacing it with a boardwalk. This will help the water to flow more naturally through this English equivalent of a mangrove swamp on its way to the lake and improve the condition of the Site of Special Scientific Interest. The new boardwalk will also be more flood-resilient and will be wheelchair accessible. Improving things for the natural envirnoment and for people - it's what the Derwent Riverlands project is all about. This work is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. We expect to be able to open the boardwalk by the end of October 2019.

A trail of upright posts curves round a corner with a digger in the distance

07 Jul 19

Finding out what people love about rivers

We had the chance to trial some community engagement techniques at the Derwent Water Regatta. Our Riverlands stand proved a huge hit with visitors to the event. We had a great crafting area which played host to many homemade frogs, fish and dragonflies for both days. We also had a fantastic 'art-attack'-style giant river collage which inspired people to share with us what they loved about or wanted from their local river. Our Riverlands engagement officer Kerry, who is funded through support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, will be rolling out similar activities across the Derwent catchment in the near future.

A visitor's comment showing what they cherish about rivers with a collage river of blue material leading to the Riverlands gazebo in the background

20 Jun 19

Introducing engagement officer Kerry Morgan

What a steep learning curve! Although I have been doing community engagement for quite a few years now, starting with the National Trust has been quite an eye opener. In my first two months I have been getting to know more about the Riverlands Project and the Derwent water catchment, and getting to know the National Trust staff. They have so much knowledge and expertise they'll be a great support to my role. I have also been discovering the work of our partners and the fantastic jobs that they are doing. I've been getting to know the area and I've visited Liza Beck, Loweswater, Dunthwaite, Stonycroft, Bowder Stone, Isthmus and Kettlewell. All amazing! I really enjoyed the outstanding Surprise View and Honister Pass. It’s been a fast, fascinating and fantastic start to my new role and I can’t wait to learn and discover more!

Kerry Morgan standing on a hill with the sun shining and hills in the background