The Mere Beck project was carried out in with the financial support of the landowner Mr Revell, and support of the tenant. Its broad aims was to provide gravels to enable fish to spawn, improve access (pipe bridge which was prone to blocking replaced by single span bridge) and fence it off from stock.
Mere Beck, like many others rivers and streams in the Lake District, was historically diverted and dredged to improve land drainage. More recently, following the November 2009 floods, when the R Cocker partially diverted, it was dredged again as part of the remediation works. This and the flat nature of this stream has meant that few gravels are available for fish to lay their eggs in. Without these spawning gravels, fish can’t breed! Approximately one hundred and fifty tons of riverine gravels were re-introduced, summer 2014, into eleven sections (5-15m long) of channel to recreate/improve spawning habitat for salmon/trout in particular. The sections were chosen where it was anticipated that the gravels will be kept free of silt.
The second phase of the project involved the erection of 650m of stock-proof line fencing, associated rails and gates. This aspect of the project was designed to reduce erosion and poaching by stock.
It is hoped that salmon, trout and sea trout will use the gravels this autumn.