Case study: Fish easement on Whit Beck

In addition to our NFM work, we’re also working on broader catchment restoration to provide multiple environmental benefits. We’ve upgraded a culvert to ensure fish can now access Whit Beck. Previously, fish couldn’t move upstream of this raised culvert, due to it’s increasing height off the bed caused by the undercutting effect of the waterfall into the plunge pool below. 

Before: inaccessible, culverted beck

We replaced the culvert with a 2m diameter pipe, set to bed level. This helps restore fluvial processes in the beck including enabling some downstream gravel movement as well as allowing access to 0.5km of potential spawning gravels and habitat upstream. The works also reduce the risk of the culvert washing out in one go which would result in a large amount of gravel, fines and nutrients entering the beck downstream in a single event and thus ending up in Keswick. 

This culvert also helps maintain the farm’s only access by reducing the risk of it washing out in an extreme flood event. Thanks to the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development’s Water Environment Grant and to contractor, Tom Lindsay for doing such a great job.  

After: fish easement