South Cumbria Rivers Trust have been recently working on a project to remove Bowston weir, on the River Kent at Bowston near Burneside in South Cumbria. The programme of works have been funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.
This removal has stemmed from collaboration with the Environment Agency and Natural England to identify, investigate and deliver work that benefits the River Kent and its tributaries, as a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Special Area of Conservation (SAC). Bowston weir removal forms part of the highly acclaimed Cumbria River Restoration programme, which aims to restore our rivers for the benefit of people and wildlife.
SCRT received confirmation of planning approval in February 2022, from South Lakeland District Council. Ebsford Environmental Ltd, leading aquatic restoration contractors, experienced with large weir removals, were appointed to carry out the works. Bowston weir is the largest weir removal through river restoration to happen this year.
Removal took place between June and September 2022 and the river is already showing signs of improvement in form and function. These improvements will continue to take place of the coming months.
This page has been updated with project milestones, updates and relevant information, which we have shared with the public throughout the process to remove the weir. This can be found below, with most recent updates at the bottom of the page. Here are some pictures of the removal process.
There have been a number of investigations into weirs on the River Kent and Tributaries SSSI and River Kent SAC that will provide background information about the project, including:
(NB: The entire document is available by appointment at the Natural England offices in Kendal, Cumbria. See the Local Community Engagement Plan below for contact details).
(Natural England; Disclaimer– The Atkins report is a report to Natural England on the feasibility of removal of 14 weirs in the catchment of the River Kent & Tributaries Site of Special Scientific Interest and River Kent Special Area of Conservation. The work was commissioned to help Natural England and the Environment Agency plan for future river management works in the Kent catchment to restore river habitats to a more natural state and hence to contribute to our work to achieve favourable condition of the SSSI/SAC. Any proposals to take forward any particular weir removal will be subject to consultation with local land owners, river users and local communities who may be affected, and will comply with the requirements of consenting bodies such as local planning authorities and the Environment Agency.)
PROJECT DOCUMENTS AND UPDATES TO THE PUBLIC
PUBLISHED MARCH 2019
Our initial project outline about the proposal can be found here- Bowston Question & Answer Document.
UPDATE: PUBLISHED 30TH JULY 2019 –
Based on feedback from the public regarding our initial material, we have produced the following updates to provide clarification, on some frequently asked questions – Bowston Weir removal proposal – UPDATE
We have also created a Local Community Engagement Plan (LCEP) that explains our objectives and the ways in which we aim to engage the public throughout this project proposal. (Please see update to LCEP below – 13th November 2021 and 6th May 2022 updates)
UPDATE: PUBLISHED 1ST APRIL 2020 –
UPDATE: PUBLISHED 14TH OCTOBER 2020 –
UPDATE: PUBLISHED 2ND NOVEMBER 2020 –
UPDATE: PUBLISHED 13TH NOVEMBER 2020
Additional information – The effects of weirs on fish migration, including example removals
UPDATE: PUBLISHED 23RD NOVEMBER 2020
UPDATE: PUBLISHED 24TH NOVEMBER 2020
UPDATE: PUBLISHED 28TH JANUARY 2021
UPDATE: PUBLISHED 9TH MARCH 2021
UPDATE: PUBLISHED 26TH MARCH 2021
UPDATE: NOVEMBER 2021
Due to this additional information, there is currently a short additional consultation. After such, SCRT will await the determination of the planning application.
UPDATE: FEBRUARY 2022
UPDATE: PUBLISHED 6TH MAY 2022
UPDATE: PUBLISHED 10TH JUNE 2022
UPDATE: PUBLISHED 22ND JUNE 2022
UPDATE: PUBLISHED 30TH JUNE 2022
UPDATE: PUBLISHED 5TH JULY 2022
UPDATE: PUBLISHED 15TH JULY 2022
Bowston weir removal leaflet – Process and Progress
UPDATE: PUBLISHED 20TH JULY 2022
UPDATE: PUBLISHED 29TH JULY 2022
There will be further information added to this page, so please do keep checking for updates.
If you have any additional questions, please e-mail: email@example.com and we will provide a response as soon as we can.
Bowston weir removal project is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas