Glenderamackin NFM and Catchment Restoration project

Between 2019 and 2022, with partner organisations, we completed a three-year Defra funded catchment restoration project, comprising river restoration, habitat improvement work and the installation of natural flood management features throughout the River Glenderamackin catchment area from Mungrisdale to Keswick.

We’ve worked with farmers and landowners across the catchment to develop landscape features inspired by nature that aim to help reduce flood risk to Keswick whilst providing other environmental benefits.

The issues

The catchment faces multiple threats including a rapid decline in nature, ‘unfavourable-no change’ SAC status, and increases in severe flooding due to climate change. 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. It’s an upland river flowing 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. The Glenderamackin River is part of the River Derwent Catchment, part of the Lake District National Park World Heritage Site and River Derwent Special Area of Conservation (SAC).

What we’ve been doing

We’ve worked with farmers and landowners across the Glenderamackin catchment on a Natural Flood Management (NFM) and catchment restoration 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’ whilst providing other benefits such as improved water quality and habitats.

We’ve put a range of measures in place, including:

  • creating ponds and wetland areas
  • 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 either.