Skip to content

Riverlands: working to restore the Lake District's waterways

A view of Watendlath Beck Borrowdale, Lake District
A view of Watendlath Beck Borrowdale | © National Trust Images/John Malley

Rivers are life forces. They’ve helped sustain ecosystems, cultures and communities for millennia, their quiet power steadily shaping everything from landscapes to place names. But many of our rivers are under threat from climate change, pollution, and human-made changes to the landscapes and waterways, which is why the National Trust launched Riverlands.

The Lake District Riverlands project stretches from Keswick in the north to Kendal in the south, across the central fells and finally out to sea. It encompasses the rivers themselves, the land which drains into them, and the rich array of wildlife and plants that call these varied habitats home. Together, these make up our ‘riverlands’.

Working with partners, we will restore rivers and catchments to be healthy, clean and rich in wildlife; easily accessed and valued for their heritage and beauty; and with sustainable plans for their long term care. We’ll post regular updates of the work we’re doing here, on this project timeline, so keep checking back to stay up to date.

Lake District Riverlands Project

29 November 2023

One year anniversary of the RiverPrize win

A year ago today, the Riverlands team, along with colleagues from the other organisations that make up the Cumbria River Restoration Strategy, found out the incredible news that they were the collective winners of the European RiverPrize. It was an incredible moment, honouring all the hard work put in by the CRRS partners to improve the health of the rivers across the county.

One year on, we’re all still working hard to restore and protect our rivers and their catchments. We’ve got new projects in the pipeline, new colleagues on the team, and are working in new places. But the commitment remains the same; to restore and protect the rivers in our care, for the benefit of people and nature, now and forever.  

A view looking down on the Riverlands' Goldrill Beck river restoration project after completion
Riverlands' Goldrill Beck river restoration project, one of many which made up the award-winning Cumbria River Restoration Strategy | © Jonathan Holdsworth