Latest updates

16 Apr 19

Exciting news - we've secured funding

This week we received confirmation that the National Trust has been awarded a Water Environment Grant of £1.7 million to improve the health of two river catchments in the north-west and east of Cumbria – the Derwent and Ullswater. The Water Environment Grant, administered by Natural England, provides funding for organisations and land managers to improve the water environment in rural England. This is great news for the Ullswater Rivers Scheme as money from the grant will cover 84% of the overall cost of the Goldrill Beck project.

22 Mar 19

Clearing the way

This week we have begun our work thinning out trees in Dub How wood at Goldrill to make way for the new river channel to meander through when work starts in May. We are taking care to leave as many trees in place as possible and the felled birch, alder and willow trees will be left as valuable deadwood habitat, which is great for invertebrates. As part of the project we will plant new trees across the site, planting one tree for every one felled. Once the project is complete this area will become a wet woodland, storing water in times of high flow and providing a great habitat for wildlife such as otter, curlew, snipe and lapwings.

Woodland Ranger felling a tree in Ullswater

21 Feb 19

The bigger picture

Our work at Goldrill Beck is just one element of a larger sustainable land management plan that we have for Ullswater. Another part of the plan is Glencoyne Farm, where we are working with our farm tenants to do things differently; reducing sheep numbers and introducing cattle and horses to develop a more resilient landscape, favouring natural processes and tree regeneration. Home to almost 300 veteran trees, Glencoyne Park has a long history of grazing that goes back at least 800 years. Once part of a hunting estate owned by the Dukes of Norfolk, this land has been home to deer, sheep, cattle and horses for centuries. Today this tradition is continued by the farmers at Glencoyne Farm, who look after the sheep and cattle on this land, working to regenerate the native wood pasture. Shorthorn cattle have replaced sheep in some areas, as their selective grazing allows young trees to flourish, as well as longer grass and more dense vegetation to grow. This can act as a sponge to slow the flow of water across the land and reduce the risk of flooding. Maintaining the wood pasture will also help ensure wildlife habitats for generations to come.

Horses grazing in Glencoyne Park woodpasture in Ullswater