About Us

We’re Eden Rivers Trust – the Cumbrian conservation charity standing up for Eden’s rivers; changing perceptions of rivers and enhancing and protecting the river environment so that people and nature can thrive.

We work in partnership with organisations and local communities, changing the conversation and inspiring and empowering others to breathe new life into our rivers. Together, we’re finding better ways to ensure the Eden can support a brighter future for all.

We’re rethinking rivers. For good.



Rivers are our lifeblood. We rely on them for clean water, food, leisure, health and our well-being. They are a precious resource that is under serious threatHowever, by changing the way we use, improve and manage our rivers, we believe they can support a better future for all.

To do this, we believe we need to do things differently to tackle these challenges and improve the natural river environment so that people and nature can thrive.


The ERT way

We work with a wide range of partners, including government agencies and other organisations, individuals and local community groups to deliver a sustainable and integrated approach to managing Eden’s rivers and the surrounding land.  Working in partnership is at the heart of what we do, enabling us to deliver innovative and creative environmental projects in our rivers, their catchments and local communities.

Working together we …

Connect people with rivers  – increasing understanding of how rivers work, encouraging people’s enjoyment of the amazing wildlife and special places and inspiring them to take action and help care for our rivers.

Improve the natural processes within the Eden catchment, on land as well as in the river, nurturing wildlife habitats, reducing flood risk and providing cleaner water.

Protect the Eden’s unique and iconic biodiversity, ensuring our native plants and animals survive and thrive.

… to bring us one step closer to achieving our vision –  ‘A Healthy Eden for All’.


Proud to be part of the Rivers Trust movement, we are one of 65 local rivers trusts across the UK and Ireland.


Introducing the Eden catchment

The catchment covers a massive 2,400 km2 and has two National Parks and two National Landscapes within its boundaries.

The River Eden rises 670m above sea level at its source near Mallerstang Common, and flows for around 80 miles from south to north (unusual for English rivers) through upland fells to lush lowland valleys before reaching the sea at the Solway Firth.

Aptly named, the Eden Catchment features stunning landscapes and is a haven for rare wildlife. The River Eden and its tributaries is a large and significant Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) due to its populations of white-clawed crayfish, Atlantic salmon, lamprey, bullhead, and otter.

It also has two Special Protection Areas (SPAs) and 16 Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), sites of European importance for birds, habitats and other species.

Did you know that water from Haweswater reservoir supplies homes from Penrith southwards… as well as much of Greater Manchester!

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Key Facts

eden rivers established

Eden Rivers Trust

Eden Rivers Trust was established on 12th October 1996 with just 1 member of staff and a board of trustees

river restoration

The early days

After significant pollution of Ploughlands Beck in the Upper Eden, over £200k compensation was entrusted to Eden Rivers Trust to help restore the river.

the trust today

The Trust today

13 staff team, 200+ volunteers, 11 trustees

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Since 1996...

200 river improvements

500+ river improvement projects completed

schools involved

70 schools learnt about rivers/ involved in conservation work

trees planted

105,000+ trees planted

people engaged

38,000+ people engaged


210km+ of fencing erected

2 million gallons

2millon+ gallons of contaminated water diverted away from the river