We’re working with farmers and landowners across the Glenderamackin River catchment area to develop landscape features inspired by nature that aim to reduce the flood risk to the community of Keswick and provide other environmental benefits for watercourses and the surrounding land. The project is running until March 2021.

The issue: Flooding in Keswick

Keswick has a long history of flooding, with devastating floods occurring in 2005, 2009 and most recently in 2015, when 515 properties were directly flooded and many more affected by surface water flooding. Historic land use changes, agricultural drainage and compacted ground, together with an increase in extreme rainfall events, have contributed to a high flood risk for Keswick.

Why the Glenderamackin matters

The Glenderamackin River is a tributary of the River Greta, joining the Greta before it flows through Keswick. Its waters therefore contribute to floods in the town.

The Glenderamackin River is an upland river that flows in a 16km arc westward from its source behind Blencathra in the Northern Lake District fells. Its tributaries include Troutbeck, Naddle Beck and the Glenderaterra. The whole catchment covers an area of 100 km 2.


What we’re doing

We’re working with farmers and landowners across the Glenderamackin catchment on a Natural Flood Management (NFM) project.  NFM comprises a range of techniques designed to keep water in the landscape and out of rivers for longer during heavy rainfall, with the goal being to reduce flood risk downstream by ‘slowing the flow’.

We’re looking at a range of measures including:

  • tree planting
  • creating and restoring kested hedgerows
  • improving soil
  • installing leaky barriers
  • increasing water storage on the floodplain

These measures complement hard engineering and flood resilience measures carried out by other agencies and organisations. The combined impact of lots of small measures across the catchment could have a significant effect on flood risk. We’re keen that these measures don’t adversely affect the farm business and that they improve water quality and habitat.

Funders and partners

The project is funded by DEFRA and the Water Environment Grant scheme through the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

We’ll work with the Environment Agency and other partner organisations including the Woodland Trust, Farmer Network, Cumbria Wildlife Trust and Cumbria Woodlands to deliver a suite of natural flood management measures.

Evaluating success

We want to know how effective these measures will be as a key aim of the DEFRA funding is to increase the national evidence base and better understand the role of NFM in flood risk management. We’ll be monitoring all our interventions, working with Lancaster University.

Want to find out more?

We’re continuing to identify and develop NFM interventions across the catchment which have multiple benefits. If you’re a landowner in the catchment and are interested in NFM measures on your land or are just keen to find out more, please contact Clair Payne on 017687 75429 or  clair@westcumbriariverstrust.org