West Cumbria Rivers Trust are delivering the pilot scheme for United Utilities ‘Catchment Wise’ programme in partnership with the Environment Agency and supported by Natural England.

Catchment Wise is United Utilities new approach to tackling water quality issues in lakes, rivers and coastal waters across the North West. Normally, United Utilities solution to meeting water quality objectives and tackling pollution has been to invest in additional process units at treatment works and sewer overflows.  However this is an expensive and carbon intensive answer and not a sustainable one, given rising operational and capital costs, ever more stringent water quality standards and a need to reduce carbon emissions.

Funding has been secured for a pilot project in the Ellen Catchment focusing on the Crookhurst sub-catchment.  We’re now working to tackle agricultural diffuse pollution in rivers and streams across the catchment in line with United Utilities new approach to water quality.  The project will bring together farmers, landowners, local communities and other organisations to look at things like grazing regimes, livestock housing, fencing and planting and advising on best practice to stop pollution from happening.

The project aims to achieve a sustained reduction in phosphorus going into streams, to contribute to the achievement of Water Framework Directive ‘good status’ and reduce bacteriological inputs to streams to improve bathing water quality in Allonby Bay.

Please see the events and news pages for the latest information about the Ellenwise project.


Name Type Size
Channel management pdf 5.07 MB
Healthy grassland soils pdf 2.37 MB
Key actions for farmers pdf 1.33 MB