Pow Beck Project

With the dubious accolade of being the river in the worst condition within the Eden catchment, Pow Beck, a small lowland tributary of the River Caldew near Carlisle, needed improving … fast.

The beck had come under pressure from a number of sources: diffuse pollution from agriculture, ornamental weirs which prevented fish passage, invasive species, river straightening and septic tanks.

Thanks to the Environment Agency’s Catchment Restoration Fund, we were able to put a £375,000 plan into action to improve Pow Beck.

The Eden Rivers Trust ethos is that we work in partnership with farmers and landowners within the catchment to improve the river and make farms more water-friendly whilst benefitting the farm business.

We worked with 18 different landowners to tackle the issue of diffuse pollution, particularly in reducing the amount of slurry and other pollutants washing off the land into the beck.
Improving farm infrastructure can make a huge difference, such as altering yard drains to prevent clean water mixing with slurry. This reduced the volume of slurry generated.

We purchased an aerator, subsoiler and guidance machinery for landowners to help them improve the soil structure of their land and ensure that fertiliser was applied in the correct quantities in the right locations, reducing cost/wastage for the landowner and the amount of excess washing off the land.

Installing 5km of fencing and planting just shy of 1,000 trees helped to reduce river bank damage caused by livestock and increase the natural resilience of the beck to floods, erosion and overheating of the water. In some locations we also used brash – a natural method of slowing the rate of erosion that also provides an improved habitat for fish.

Partners in the Pow Beck Project:
Environment Agency
Catchment Sensitive Farming
National Farmers Union
Dairy Co (now known as Agricultural and Horticulture Development Board Dairy)

  • RT @theriverstrust: This is shocking! Hopefully this raises some awareness about the consequences of flushing wet wipes, fat and nappies! h… 5 days 21 hours ago
  • The geography geeks here at the trust love a good interactive map! Discover more about our area: https://t.co/qnZxWmtT36 5 days 21 hours ago
  • We're hiring! Partnerships Manager (Mat cover), Fixed term, £25,000 pa #Penrith #Cumbria https://t.co/6K4NRtPxgX #conservationjob #riversjob 6 days 22 hours ago
  • Interesting- talking about the lifespan of soil & the need to manage it upland where it is thinner/prone to erosion https://t.co/ExiS9CXxHg 6 days 22 hours ago
  • RT @simreaney: Fieldwork in Dacre Beck this morning mapping sediment and flood source areas for @edendtc fir use in @SCIMAP. With @Nick11Ba 6 days 22 hours ago