Case study:Cumbria River Restoration Program - Whitbeck restoration project - West Cumbria
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- 1 Project overview
- 2 Image gallery
- 3 Catchment and subcatchment
- 4 Site
- 5 Project background
- 6 Reasons for river restoration
- 7 Measures
- 8 Monitoring
- 9 Additional documents and videos
- 10 Additional links and references
- 11 Supplementary Information
|Project web site|
|Themes||Fisheries, Flood risk management, Habitat and biodiversity, Hydromorphology, Land use management - agriculture, Land use management - forestry, Monitoring, Social benefits|
|Main contact forename||Olly|
|Main contact surname||Southgate|
|Main contact user ID|
|Contact organisation||Environment Agency|
|Contact organisation web site|
|Partner organisations||Natural England, West Cumbria Rivers Trust|
|Parent multi-site project|
| This is a parent project
encompassing the following
This project was part of the Cumbria River Restoration Strategy which aims to develop demonstration sites of best practice river restoration.
The purpose of these projects is to make rivers more natural so they do not require costly maintenance (now the responsibility of the landowner) and improve the habitat for aquatic species. West Cumbria Rivers Trust is delivering these projects on behalf of the Environment Agency and Natural England and the aim is to complete a limited number of these projects so they can be used as demonstration sites for farmers and landowners. To-date, one major project has been completed on Whit Beck (near Lorton). Whit Beck is an actively eroding stream which drains off the Lorton Fells. It joined the River Cocker approximately three quarters of a kilometre upstream the Low Lorton village. The River Cocker then joins the River Derwent at Cockermouth. The River Derwent is of national and European significance and is classified as both a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Special Area of Conservation (SAC).
This project was undertaken on Whit Beck, a fast flowing spate tributary of the River Cocker (River Derwent SSSI) in the English Lake District. A 350m section of heavily modified raised river channel was successfully diverted to natural self-sustainable diverse 1200m long watercourse. This meant natural river processes and features were restored, the length of stream was increased, habitats were created for fish spawning, the channel was reconnected to the floodplain, and riparian trees provided wildlife corridors.
The work on the River Derwent and its tributaries (streams) forms part of the North West River Basin Management Plan, which aims to improve the health of all rivers and water bodies in the North West of England to meet standards set out in the European Water Framework Directive (WFD). This project, jointly funded by Natural England and the Environment Agency, will help contribute to meeting these standards by improving both water quality and enabling the river / stream to function more naturally.
Monitoring surveys and results
Consideration of weather conditions during construction and possible delays Consider public access once the new channel is completed Need to monitor to analyse success in the future
Catchment and subcatchment
Select a catchment/subcatchment
Other case studies in this subcatchment: Whit Beck River Restoration Project
Cost for project phases
Reasons for river restoration
Hydromorphological quality elements
Biological quality elements
Physico-chemical quality elements
Additional documents and videos