We have been working with farmers to reduce diffuse pollution in the Crookhurst Beck for a while now and have just received great news that we can continue this successful work. Funded by United Utilities, the three-year project ‘EllenWise Phase 2’, will pick up where the original one year trial ‘EllenWise’ made a great start.

In order to provide a better understanding of ways to improve water quality, we have welcomed Josh to the team. Josh is a PhD student at Lancaster University working with us and United Utilities, to investigate the benefits of investing in catchment interventions compared to costly end-of-pipe solutions.  He is a monitoring the beck with a variety of equipment and surveying what species live there.  And trying to work out exactly what differences all the farm interventions we do, make to water quality.

Amina Aboobakar from United Utilities said: “Improving the quality of the water discharges from our treatment works can often be expensive for us and more importantly, to our customers and the environment. So we are hoping that by working with the farmers and other stakeholders like West Cumbria Rivers Trust, at the source of the river and in the wider catchment, we can deliver a more sustainable approach to improving water quality as well as keeping the costs low.” 

As well as working on farm interventions we have also set up the ‘Crookhurst Catchment Farmers Group’ to complement the EllenWise Phase 2 project. The group meets once a month to discuss farm improvements and provides a variety of training to improve farm efficiency as well as working together to reduce pollution and flooding in the area. For more information please see here.