Restoring the River Lyvennet to its Former Natural Glory

The River Eden River Restoration Strategy (RERRS) is a partnership project involving Eden Rivers Trust, the Environment Agency and Natural England, working with land owners and farmers. 
It aims to return rivers in the Eden catchment to a more natural state for the benefit of wildlife and people.  It was developed as a remedy for the unfavourable condition of large parts of the River Eden and Tributaries Site of Special Scientific Interest.

On the River Lyvennet and Howe Beck at Barnskew and Meaburn Hall, Maulds Meaburn, sections of the rivers were restored to their original winding channels with approximately 1.5km of straightened river now meandering through nearly 1.9km. 

An estimated 11,000 cubic metres of soil weighing approximately 15,000 metric tonnes was excavated in the River Lyvennet project. 

Reintroducing meanders (bends in the river) has made the river longer and slowed the flow of water along the river course. This has allowed gravel and plants to settle on the riverbed, providing an ideal habitat for wildlife.

The river is now developing the pools, riffles and gravel bars essential to support a variety of wildlife and is a showcase for river restoration techniques and the many benefits they bring for wildlife and people.

Walk the Maulds Meaburn Trail

You can see this natural river at its very best for yourself by walking the public trail around the restoration site.
There is limited parking on a small grass verge opposite the junction of the King’s Meaburn and Maulds Meaburn roads, next to the farm. Grid reference for parking is NY 62397 17241.

To access the trail, walk down the road (signposted towards Morland and Penrith until you cross over the bridge over the River Lyvennet. You will see a wooden stile on your right – this is the access point for the trail. Beware – please watch out for the electric fence. Unhook the cable to reach the path and then re-hook the cable once you have all passed through. Please keep dogs on leads.

What our partners said about the project

Partners: Natural England, Environment Agency, land owners and tenant farmers

“The River Eden is a jewel in Cumbria’s crown for wildlife.  Re-meandering the river will increase the habitat in the river for rare species such as white-clawed crayfish. 

"The Lyvennet restoration, incorporating Natural England’s Environmental Stewardship Scheme, shows how room can be made for the river within farmland.”
Simon Humphries, Natural England Area Manager

“Hopefully this scheme along with the other excellent work Eden Rivers Trust is doing will help reverse the trend in decline in spawning salmon in the River Eden. 

"It has been amazing to see the River Lyvennet transformed in such a short space of time and to have evidence of spawning so soon after the restoration is fantastic news and confirmation that this improvement in habitat has measurable results.  

"We, the community in the area are very proud of what Eden Rivers Trust has achieved and wish to thank them very much”
Charles Lowther, Land owner at Barnskew and Meaburn Hall