Category Archives: Uses and Values

Award for Haweswater

The Swindale Valley Restoration Project, a partnership involving United Utilities, the Environment Agency, Natural England and the RSPB has won a major nature conservation award, the ENDS Environmental Impact Award for 2017.
A tributary of the River Eden, Swindale Beck, runs through Swindale Valley, forming part of the RSPB’s landholding at Haweswater. A sizable stretch of the river was straightened at least 200 years ago in an attempt to provide more land for grazing and hay making.
However, this modification has caused serious problems for Atlantic salmon as the straightened and fast flowing channel does not provide the different habitats, normally found in natural meandering rivers, which they need to successfully spawn.  The UK is a stronghold for Atlantic salmon, however, the numbers returning to spawn have halved since the 1970s.
Working in partnership with the Environment Agency, landowners United Utilities and Natural England, the RSPB is restoring part of this artificial stretch of the river, enabling it to revert to its former slower-flowing, meandering course.    
This is being achieved by digging a new channel along a carefully mapped route, redirecting the water flow, then filling in the old straightened section to create a more suitable and productive meadow that will help support the farm, as well provide a home for wildflowers and insects.
The restoration of Swindale Beck is jointly funded by the Environment Agency, Cumbria Waste Management Environment Trust and United Utilities.

Oliver Southgate, River Restoration Project Manager at the Environment Agency, said: “River restoration projects like this can provide multiple benefits for both people and wildlife. By working in partnership with other organisations and landowners, we can truly make a difference and return some of our constrained rivers back to their former natural glory.
“The Cumbria River Restoration programme is working across the whole of the region in a bid to safeguard our special areas, enhance wildlife and create a better place for people.”
 
Paul Phillips from United Utilities said: “This will bring big benefits to water quality as well as wildlife. A more natural channel will be broad and shallow in times of flood and slower to deliver water into the River Lowther. Sediments and gravels will be deposited more naturally with less reaching Haweswater reservoir.

by Tony Dean

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Working Wetlands Survey

RS25514_146_Slimbridge_reserve_aerials_170315-scr.jpg

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;

www.wwt.org.uk/wetlandsurvey

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: Chloe.Hardman@wwt.org.uk

European survey on urban (city) lakes and rivers

Rivers and lakes located in European cities and towns are getting cleaner thanks to improvements in waste water treatment and restoration projects which have brought many waterways back to life. New forms of water management contribute to make our cities greener, smarter and more sustainable, but key challenges remain, according to a new report by the European Environment Agency (EEA) released today.

http://www.eea.europa.eu/highlights/restoring-european-rivers-and-lakes