Author: Katie

UK and Ireland Lakes Network Conference 2019 Papers

The UK and Ireland Lakes Network Conference – Lakes Protecting, Enhancing and Restoring was held in Westport, Ireland.

The conference papers are here:

Global Perspective on Lakes  Udo Gattenlöhner, Global Nature Fund

Lake Water Quality and the Water Framework Directive – Maths and Facts.  Dierdre Tierney, Environmental Protection Agency

Lough Forbes and challenges for safe drinking water.  Andrew Boylan, Irish Water

Odds and sods: Irish lakes and the Habitats Directive  Aine O Connor, National Parks and Wildlife

WFD and Fish in Lakes Monitoring – Methods, Trends and Climate change.  Fiona Kelly, Inland Fisheries Ireland

Lough Carra: past, present and future.  Chris Huxley and Tom Byrne, Lough Carra Catchment Association

The Local Authority Waters Programme–Lake Local Catchment Assessments in Action.  Bernadette White, Local Authorities Water Programme 

The Group Water Scheme sector in Ireland: An under-utilised resource for improving ecosystem services delivery?  Alec Rolston, Dundalk, institute of Technology

Cranes, drains and net carbon gains –working towards sustainable wetland management in the Broads National Park, UK, Dan Hoare, Broads Authority

Predicting in-lake responses to change using near real time models Tadhg Moore, PROGNOS PROJECT, DKIT

Remote sensing – a tool for lake assessment. Gary Free , Institute for Electromagnetic Sensing for the Environment

Assessing the potential of drones to take water samples and physicochemical data from open lakes. Conor Graham, Galway Mayo, Institute of Technology  

The Blue Dot Catchment Programme – preserving Irelands high status lakes. Cormac Mc Conigley, Local Authorities Water Programme

The Clones Lakes: How water quality decline is captured in charophyte lakes.
Mr Nick Stewart, Consultant 


On the second day conference delegates were treated to site visits to Loch Carra where this film was shared  and a tour of Burrishoole Research Station.


UK and Ireland Lakes Network Conference 2019 – Lakes Protecting, Enhancing and Restoring.

The 2019 UK and Ireland Lakes Network 2019 Conference “Lakes – Protecting, Enhancing and Restoring”  is about to commence in Westport, Ireland. The programme is available here:

UKILN Programme 2019

2019 UKILN Conference Poster

The keynote speech will be from Mr. Udo Gattenlöhner, from the Global Nature Fund and sessions cover monitoring and assessment, actions on the ground and research.

It is a great opportunity to network and keep up to date with lake issues and best practice

Are you creating shared value? Have you seen this opportunity to be recognised?

As the world’s population grows, innovating to enhance quality of life and contribute to a healthier future of all becomes even more essential. Ashoka and Nestle are looking for initiatives in Nutrition, Water and Rural Development to support and take to scale. Are you the next CSV Prize Winner?

Find out more about it here: Link

Do you know a wetland? Can you help with a worldwide survey?

Knowledge about the status and trends of the worlds remaining wetlands is very patchy and limited. To improve this knowledge, and to better inform wetland policy and decision-making,  a simple worldwide questionnaire survey to gather better knowledge on the state of wetlands is being undertaken now.

 Who is organising the survey?

The survey is a collaborative initiative between the Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS Ramsar Section), the World Wetland Network (WWN) and the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT), with the help of the Ramsar Convention Secretariat.

How can you help?

Are you familiar with a wetland? If yes, then you can help: the survey is open to anyone who can tell us about the state of a wetland(s), small or large, about which they know. The questionnaire asks for your opinion about the state of a wetland, and should take no longer than 10 minutes of your time to complete.
The survey will be open until the 30th September 2017, and results shared at the 2018 Ramsar Conference.

Find out more from the World Wetland Network here.

Or start the survey in English here.



UK and Ireland Lakes Network Conference 2017 – Papers

Our 2017 conference began with a tour of Linlithgow Loch and Palace with Historic Environment Scotland. Both are integral to the town itself, and brimming with opportunities for current adventures, and stories rich in culture and history. The loch itself was formed by a block of ice left behind by retreating glaciers at the end of the last ice age, and was chosen as the location of the palace in twelfth century. Over time land use surrounding the loch has changed, and now whilst still offering the community a fantastic 4km circuit for running, walking or pushing a buggy, and fishing, or a back drop to outdoor events it does suffer with algal blooms. A partnership group are investigating the main sources of nutrient and other pollutants, and raising awareness in the local community to reduce misuse of the drainage system with the ‘Only rain down the drain campaign’.


The tour of the loch and palace offered not only the opportunity to focus on this fascinating urban water, but also to develop new connections and re-establish those that have lapsed. The networking continued into the evening over a relaxed conference meal and in the company of after dinner speaker Dr Reverend Stuart Gillan.


The conference provided a diverse range of presentations which can be found below.


Exploring the values and management of our urban waters – past, present and future

Tuesday 25th April 2017


·         Nick Benge, Water Gems, UK approach to urban waterbody restoration.

·         Linda May, CEH, UK approach to urban waterbody restoration.

·         Callum McPhail, SEPA, Restoration of a large urban loch – Strathclyde Loch.

·         Chris Hassall, Leeds University, Treasure little things ecology management and creation of urban ponds.

·         Paul Wood, Loughborough University,  Restoration of urban streams and ponds.

·         Jo Girvan, River life, Restoration in an urban setting.

·         Brian Darcy, C&D Associates, Sustainable urban drainage in the protection and improvement of urban lochs.

·         Alan McCulloch, SEPA, The Water Environment Fund, SEPA and urban regeneration in the water environment.


The outputs of the workshop sessions will be published shortly.


With thanks to SEPA, West Lothian Council and Historic Environment Scotland for hosting the conference.

Last call for UK & Ireland Lakes Network 2017 conference registrations

DSC_0138.jpgUKILN conference field trip 2016, delegates at Thirlmere.

Join us for our annual conference and networking event on 24th and 25th April at Linlithgow to focus on urban loch, lake and lough management.

It will be a fantastic opportunity to be inspired by others working on stillwaters across the UK and Ireland. You will meet others and network, be able to share best practice and challenges, and perhaps form the beginnings of new partnerships.

The format this year is a half day field trip around Linlithgow on Monday, followed by the conference meal. We then have an exciting programme of presentations and discussion on Tuesday find the full programme here.

We are still open for last minute registrations online here.

Working Wetlands Survey


Wildlife-rich wetlands can work hard for us, storing and cleaning our water and helping to reduce the impacts of flooding and erosion, as well as being a source of enjoyment and well-being for us all. The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) would like to know where such working wetlands exist in the UK and highlight all of their multiple benefits.
Please take part in WWT’s online survey if you know of an example of where wetland habitats have been created as part of:
· Natural flood management schemes;
· Sustainable drainage systems (SuDS);
· Coastal managed realignment;
· Constructed treatment systems/wetlands to improve water quality;

On this webpage, you will be able to view an interactive map with information on the working wetlands that have already been identified. WWT will develop this site further over the coming months adding further detailed evidence about the benefits of multi-functional wetlands.

By taking the survey, you will help build this comprehensive online evidence directory. Together we will help benchmark wetlands that demonstrate multiple benefits for people and wildlife to raise standards and ambitions. The survey results will also help answer the call from policy makers for more evidence in this area.
Thank you for taking part in this exciting new initiative.

The survey will remain open until 28th April 2017.
For further information, please contact:

UKILN Conference Programme 2017

Conference registration now open – click here

Our 2017 conference in Linlithgow, Scotland is sponsored by Scottish Environment Protection Agency, with Historic Environment Scotland and West Lothian Council.

Monday 24th April 

Field visit and networking around Linlithgow Loch

13.00    Tour of the Loch  Meet, Linlithgow Palace. –  local experts will take small groups around the loch, discussions will include links between the loch and community values, cultural heritage and future challenges. **( weather forecast showery so bring appropriate clothing and footwear.)

15.30    Linlithgow Palace – a unique opportunity to learn about this historic and iconic Scottish palace, hosted by Historic Environment Scotland.

17.00   Return to Linlithgow Town Centre

19.30   Pre- Conference Dinner Reception

20.00   Conference Dinner at West Port Hotel, Linlithgow
21.00 After dinner. Dr. the Rev. Stewart Gillan, St Michael’s Parish Linlithgow. “Swan Loch” (lake)


Tuesday 25th April 

UKILN Conference 2017: Exploring the values and management of our urban waters – past, present and future

09.30   Registration with refreshments at Linlithgow Burgh Halls, North Hall

10.00   Welcome to UK and Ireland Lakes Network and Linlithgow – Gerry Darby, Lough Neagh Partnership and Chair of UKILN.

10.20  Nick Benge – WaterGems  “Practical aspects of urban waterbody regeneration.”

10.50  Linda May/Bryan Spears – CEH Edinburgh “UK approaches to urban waterbody restoration.”

11.20    Callum McPhail – SEPA  “Restoration of a large urban loch, Strathclyde Loch.”

11.50    Chris Hassall – Leeds University  “Treasure the little things: ecology, management  and creation of urban ponds.”

 12.20   Facilitated Networking

 13.00     LUNCH

 13.45    Paul Wood – Loughborough University. “Restoration of urban streams and ponds”      

 14.15    Jo Girvan River Life. “ Restoration in an urban setting.”

14.45     Brian D’Arcy – C & D Associates “Sustainable Urban Drainage in the protection and improvement of urban lochs.”

15.15     Alan McCulloch – SEPA  “The Water Environment Fund, SEPA and urban regeneration in the water environment.                                                                                                                           

15.45   Round Up and Final discussion

15.50  Conference Conclusion and Depart


UKILN 2017 Conference Linlithgow Loch: Exploring the values and management of our urban waters – past, present and future

 Registration Closed

Linlithgow Loch

Linlithgow Loch

Our 2017 conference in Linlithgow, Scotland, sponsored by Scottish Environment Protection Agency, with Historic Environment Scotland and West Lothian Council, will explore the value and sustainable management of urban lochs, lakes, loughs, tarns and llyns – past, present and future.

Full Conference Programme – Available Here

Monday April 24th – the first day of our two day conference will start with an afternoon walk around Linlithgow Loch and visit to Linlithgow Palace lead by Historic Environment Scotland.

In the evening join us for the conference meal, and enjoy the local invited speaker.

Tuesday April 25th – our second day will focus on an eclectic mix of presentations and discussion focusing on the key issues surrounding urban waters.

UKILN conferences are designed to attract a wide range of people and organisations passionate about protection of the benefits and values these waters give us.

Opportunities to meet and network with fellow delegates is a key value of the event.

Click here for a list of Linlithgow Accommodation. Alternative budget options can be found a little further away.

Sustainable Lake Watershed Management UKILN 2016 Conference Summary and Papers

Our 2016 conference returned to the Lake District where the whole idea of a Lakes Network came about back in 2009.

This year the focus was on sustainable lake watershed management.


Held in Penrith and the northern part of the Lake District, our UK delegates and international speakers were privy to opening remarks from Richard Leafe (Chief Executive of the Lake District National Park) who outlined the vision for the Park and the challenges and opportunities of operating post Storm Desmond.

Our speakers again drew strongly on initiatives that had been implemented not only across the UK and Ireland but wider within Europe where the issues were often the same but different systems and administrations led to different ideas about how we can progress catchment protection. What became clear was that Government bodies, academia, NGOs, private companies and charitable trusts, (plus others) all have the opportunity to play to their strengths and contribute to a lake protection and restoration. We seem to be finally moving on from the hierarchical approach which prevailed some years ago.

Miguel Fereirra, Governo dos Açores, Ambiente parques Açores dsc_0120 dsc_0131





Equally important to the eclectic mix of excellent presentation we received, was the networking opportunities that our annual conference always promotes. We tried quite hard to ensure that discussion could take place around the presentations and poster sessions on day one, the conference diner and during the relaxed (and sunny) field excursion on day 2, where we met practitioners who reinforced many of the messages conveyed on day 1. Whilst focussing on many different areas of lake interest all those we met had a very clear and common understanding of their role and its importance.

Networking day 1


Our field visit took the group to Thirlmere Reservoir and then around the Bassenthwaite Lake area where the rare white fish the vendace was thought to have become extinct but now believed to be still present and perhaps even recovering. Certainly the whole watershed actions there have significantly improved the environmental conditions for their continued survival.



Each conference always offers something new, and for me the presentation from the Forestry Commission’s Osprey Project Officer spelt out just how important quality communications were. Her message was towards engaging the general public by means of stories, not presenting them with hard science. That comes a little later.



UKILN would like to thank United Utilities for sponsoring the 2016 conference, for the poster papers outlining their very proactive work on lake restoration and the pioneering work explained on whole watershed management by their Thirlmere Estate Manager.

Thirlmere Reservoir with United Utilities 2016

We have already got the framework in place and next year’s conference in Scotland. This will be at Linlithgow where the focus will be on Urban Lakes.

 We look forward to even more of our members and guests joining us in West Lothian on the 25th April 2017.

John Pinder


UKILN Conference Programme 2016

Implementing the European Landscape Convention in lake catchment restoration projects- An Azorean Case study, Miguel Fereirra, Governo dos Açores, Ambiente parques Açores.

The restoration of common reed on Windermere and Esthwaite’s shores. Mike Sturt, South Cumbria Rivers Trust

Sustainable land management within the Lake District, Andrew Fox, Lowther Estates

Living Lakes in Germany – Projects, Politics and Pamphlets, Thomas Schaefer, Global Nature Fund, Germany

The Broads – An Overview of Lake and Catchment Management, Andrea Kelly, Norfolk Broads Authority

Lough Neagh: Past & future ownership and their management issues. Gerry Darby

Lough Neagh: River to Lough Festival, Partnership and Collaboration. Eimear Kearney