We've secured £1.7million for Derwent and Ullswater rivers

Child enjoying the river in the Lake District

The National Trust has secured a £1.7million Water Environment Grant to restore two river catchments in the Lake District for the benefit of people, wildlife and rivers.

The funding will support projects in Ullswater and the Derwent that are part of our ambitious UK wide river and catchment restoration project, Riverlands, in partnership with the Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales.

The Derwent and Ullswater catchments provide opportunities to protect people and places devastated by significant flood events in recent years, as well as offering opportunities to protect and enhance habitats and nature for the future across both catchments. 

Project Manager Rebecca Powell says the process for securing funding was highly competitive so the substantial award is particularly welcome. The £1.7million award will be split into £914,442 for the Derwent catchment and £811,569 for the Ullswater catchment.

Summing up the benefits of the Lake District Riverlands project, Rebecca Powell says: “Changes to the way we all use and manage land can make a really big difference in these two catchments. Working with our tenants, other organisations, community groups and volunteers can reduce flood risk, improve water quality and soil condition and do something pretty special for nature. It’s good news for wildlife and our community."

Jo Ratcliffe from the Environment Agency says: “By working in partnership with colleagues from across the Defra Group, as well as the National Trust, the Riverlands project will help conserve and enhance the beauty of our special countryside in Cumbria, making sure it can be enjoyed, used and cared for by everyone now and in the future.”

What work are we planning?

In the Derwent the aim of the five year project is to improve water quality and habitats for species like the Atlantic salmon, otter, lamprey and the nationally rare fish, the vendace. We’re also looking to provide opportunities for people to get involved in looking after their river and improve access and enjoyment.

In Ullswater our aim is to provide vital flood alleviation to infrastructure, such as the A592, in addition to slowing the flow and creating great habitat for plants and wildlife. We will do this by reconnecting the rivers with their floodplain - allowing the wider landscape to absorb the effects of the weather.

" Over the coming year there will be a bit more to see and do as we develop plans, shaped by local discussions, and begin to turn them into action.”"
- Rebecca Powell

What are the next steps?

In April we will start work in the Derwent catchment to initiate discussions with local communities, farmers and businesses to shape a plan of action for the next 4 years.

In Ullswater we have developed plans, supported by Natural England’s Countryside Stewardship scheme, to re-meander Goldrill Beck near Hartsop where work will start this summer, pending planning permission.

Want to know more?

Visit our Ullswater Rivers blog for regular updates on how the scheme is progressing. Or you can email lakes.riverlands@nationaltrust.org.uk for information on both projects.