Elterwater Restoration – Re-connecting Great Langdale Beck

South Cumbria Rivers Trust (SCRT) have recently delivered a project to re-connect Great Langdale beck into the middle basin of Elterwater. During September 2021, SCRT worked with landowners National Trust, the Environment Agency and Natural England to create some shallow scrapes through the woodland between Great Langdale Beck and middle basin.

Elterwater is a Site of Special Scientific Interest formed of the connected basins (inner, middle and outer). Historic pollution from a Wastewater Treatment Works on inner basin, and the diversion of Little Langdale and Great Langdale becks has impacted on the water quality and natural processes which operate within this system.

South Cumbria Rivers Trust have been working with other partners to restore Elterwater for a number of years. The latest project, which aims to further this restoration process, has just been delivered. Great Langdale Beck was straightened in the 1940s disconnecting it from its original route into middle basin. Therefore, this project starts the process of reconnecting the beck via its original course by creating 3 shallow scrapes through the woodland; a route which Great Langdale beck is already using during times of high flow. These scrapes will be allowed to naturalise and evolve, creating both wet woodland habitat and reinstating natural processes to middle basin, including the transfer of clean well-oxygenated water.

Although the works look a bit raw at the minute, they will soon re-vegetate, creating valuable habitat. We have set up trail cameras to monitor this process and help understand how the beck is connecting to the new scrapes during high flows.

Our thanks go to the National Trust as the landowners for letting us complete this project, to I.T. Shaw, our local contractors for doing a superb job in delivering the project, and to the Environment Agency and Natural England for your support in progressing the project. The project was funded under the Water Environment Grant scheme from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development – Europe investing in rural areas.

More information about other Elterwater remediation works can be found here.

Funding for this project is from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. Europe investing in rural areas.