South Cumbria Rivers Trust are currently working on a project to remove Bowston weir, on the River Kent at Bowston near Burneside in South Cumbria. It is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

These works have 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). These works form 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. Since then, we have been working towards the removal of the weir, expected to take place this summer. Ebsford Environmental Ltd, leading aquatic restoration contractors experienced with large weir removals, have been appointed to carry out the works.

This page is updated with project milestones. Please note the most up-to-date information can be found at the bottom of this page.


Background

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:

River Kent Fluvial Audit, Jacobs 2010

(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).

River Kent and Tributaries SSSI and SAC- FINAL REPORT- Atkins 2015

(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.)

Kent Weirs; Bowston weir options appraisal and design, cbec engineering 2019

Flood risk assessment, JBA consulting 2018.


PROJECT DOCUMENTS

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 update)

UPDATE: PUBLISHED 1ST APRIL 2020 – 
SCRT Statement – Bowston and COVID-19
UPDATE: PUBLISHED 14TH OCTOBER 2020 – 
SCRT Statement – Bowston update- October 2020
UPDATE: PUBLISHED 2ND NOVEMBER 2020 – 
Residents Meeting February 2020 – Information and meeting notes
Why Bowston weir – residents meeting 2020 – SCRT presentation
UPDATE: PUBLISHED 13TH NOVEMBER 2020
SCRT Statement- Bowston update- November 2020
November 2020 Timeline update- Local Community Engagement Plan
Additional information – The effects of weirs on fish migration, including example removals
UPDATE: PUBLISHED 23RD NOVEMBER 2020
Bowston update-formal public consultation
UPDATE: PUBLISHED 24TH NOVEMBER 2020
Interest group meeting November 2020- Information and notes
Interest group meeting November 2020 – Presentation
SCRT Statement- Local Community Engagement Plan process
UPDATE: PUBLISHED 28TH JANUARY 2021
Biodiversity group meeting January 2021 – Information and notes
Bowston update- January 2021

UPDATE: PUBLISHED 9TH MARCH 2021
Bowston update – March 2021 – Design adaptation information
Bowston update – March 2021 – Visualisation information
Bowston Weir Design Adaptation – Visualisation Document
Bowston Weir Design Adaptation – Technical Summary

UPDATE: PUBLISHED 26TH MARCH 2021
Bowston update – Additional documentation and consultation information
Bowston Weir Design Adaptation – Method Statement
Bowston Weir Design Adaptation – Technical Drawings
Bowston Weir – Additional flood extent information

UPDATE: NOVEMBER 2021
Bowston update – Addtional information requested by SLDC – 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
Bowston update- Application to be heard at Planning Committee – February 2022
Bowston update – February 2022 – Determination of planning

UPDATE: PUBLISHED 6TH MAY 2022
Bowston update – May 2022 – Delivery phase

UPDATE: PUBLISHED 10TH JUNE 2022
Bowston-update- June-2022- Mobilisation to begin

UPDATE: PUBLISHED 22ND JUNE 2022
Bowston update – June 2022 – In-river works
There will be further information added to this page, so please do keep checking our website for updates.

If you have any additional questions, please e-mail: admin@scrt.co.uk 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