A natural approach to river restoration on the Lyvennet
End of a two-year project to improve flood resilience and wildlife habitat by restoring natural river processes and reconnecting the river with its floodplain
Eden Rivers Trust has celebrated the outstanding contribution made by local people to improve and protect Eden’s rivers with the presentation of the Ploughlands Legacy Award to Catriona Glendinning and Danny Teasdale at their recent Supporters’ Day.
More than 50 people attended Eden Rivers Trust’s (ERT) annual Supporters Day in Maulds Meaburn earlier this month
This day celebrates the work done by the river conservation charity, their volunteers and partners over the last year to enhance and protect the river environment for people and wildlife. As well as marking the major partnership projects undertaken by the Trust during 2021 and visiting project sites, the day also celebrates the local river champions who have made it their mission to stand up for Eden’s rivers and take action to improve them.
This year, two inspirational people were presented with the Eden Rivers Trust Ploughlands Legacy Award in recognition of their significant contribution to the conservation of Eden’s rivers.
Catriona Glendinning and Danny Teasdale were nominated for the award by the public with the final decision made by ERT’s Board of Trustees. In making the award, the Trustees commended Catriona and Danny for both their personal dedication and their efforts to get local communities involved in river conservation.
Horrified and depressed by the continuing crisis of unchecked microplastic pollution the earth is facing, Catriona Glendinning (pictured with Charles Ecyrod, ERT Chair of Board of Trustees), turned her environmental angst into direct action and started walking the becks during lockdown – working with landowners and mobilising local volunteers along the way to join her in her mission to rid the River Lowther and its tributaries of plastic pollution. Since then, her campaign has gone from strength to strength and she set up Spring to Sea, a Community Interest Company (CIC) in 2021.
Spring to Sea CIC is about direct action, but it’s not just about picking up litter. We’re engaging local volunteers and working with landowners to raise awareness of plastic pollution and hopefully bring about change, especially in behaviour and purchasing decisions. Some pollution problems can be ended just with a change of material, from using plastic string to jute, metal wire or chains.
To date, Catriona and her team of volunteers have clocked up over 500 hours of litter picking along 15 becks, rivers and lakes on the Lowther and Lyvennet and have worked with 84 landowners. If you would like to join them, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Danny Teasdale set up Ullswater Catchment Management CIC in the aftermath of Storm Desmond in 2015. He saw how the storm-ravaged Cumbria and in particular the village of Glenridding and wanted to find ways that would help improve flood resilience and prove it possible to restore nature in a way that would complement sustainable farming. Supporting the local economy is key and the CIC undertakes a wide variety of conservation and nature-friendly farming work that is proposed and carried out by the community using local contractors and businesses.
James Rebanks, Matterdale-based farmer and author remarked:
Danny thoroughly deserves this recognition – he has helped us a lot to bring about nature recovery on our farm, and, even more importantly, has worked with the whole community here to plant tens of thousands of trees, restore hedges, reconnect flood plains to rivers, create wetlands, rewiggled rivers and restore other habitats.
If we are going to get stuff done, we need a lot of people like Danny in rural England who can work with farmers and landowners and help them with nature recovery around their food production. This is vital work and Danny has worked wonders.
Over 50 people descended on Crosby Ravensworth Institute on the 11 June for a day packed full of talks, visits … and food!
Starting off with a morning of inspirational speakers, we heard from Lev Dahl (River Restoration Manager) on 25 (yes, 25!) years of river restoration by ERT followed by our special guest, Douglas Chalmers, the outgoing CEO of Friends of the Lake District reflecting on the landscape and communities of the Westmorland Dales from when it became part of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, taking us through the early years and what the future might hold for the region.
After lunch, participants could choose from a range of field visits including recent restoration projects at Crake Trees Manor and Greystone/Littlebeck (near Kings Meaburn), river dipping, farm visit or a cultural heritage walk around Maulds Meaburn with Hannah Kingsbury, Cultural Officer, Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership.