Access for any species of fish into Bitter Beck was either not possible or only possible during very narrow flow windows. The first 200m of channel is in a large covered culvert (there has also been a project to introduce natural light to this culvert). At the end of the culvert the channel opens into an open channel, however the bed remains artifical - comprising smooth sloping concrete. This makes it very difficult for fish to migrate upstream due to the uniform and low flow across this concrete bed.
The suitable flow windows for fish migration frequently did not occur when fish are on the move making access for fish very restricted..
West Cumbria Rivers Trust, worked with a local contractor to install a series of wooden baffles and boulders into the concrete bed. These function by causing water to pool in areas, breaking up the uniform flow, and allowing areas for the fish to rest during their upstream migration. An eel and elver (baby eel) pass was also installed to enable this species to pass a small weir.
The work should now open up access for many fish species to the entire beck, which comprises over 7,500 square metres of good quality habitat.