aerial view of farmhouse and new pond

Crake Trees Manor wetland creation and river restoration – making better places for people and wildlife

Anyone living in and around Crosby Ravensworth and Maulds Meaburn may have seen the diggers and dumpers moving around at Crake Trees Manor Farm during the early Autumn and wondered just what is going on!

Well, we have been working closely with Mike and Ruth Tuer, the owners of Crake Trees and other partners to undertake an ambitious and exciting programme of river restoration and wetland creation that will benefit people and wildlife.

About the Crake Trees Manor project

By the time the last tree is planted, the project will have seen the creation of nine wetland areas and 11 ponds, planting of around 500 trees, restoration of 600m of the Micklebank Syke and Howe Beck (two important headwater tributaries of the river Lyvennet) and reconnection of the channel with the floodplain in key areas.

What makes this project exciting is that:

  • due to the scale of the project, we have been able to create a huge range of habitats for a diverse array of wildlife, from wading birds such as curlew, lapwing and oystercatcher, to newts, toads, otters, bats and many more. Being able to create so many large-scale features on one project site is not something we often get the opportunity to do, and
  • there will be significant natural flood management (NFM) benefits that will reduce potential flood risk downstream.

Working with nature to reduce the risk of flooding

By devoting a large area to wetlands and ponds, Crake Trees Manor Farm will be able to store over 20,000m3 of water in times of high rainfall. That’s 20 million litres of water that isn’t making it into the rivers during times of high flow and contributing to downstream flooding. In addition, the river restoration and reconnection of the floodplain, combined with the tree planting, will slow the flow of the water that isn’t being stored in the ponds, further reducing that downstream flood risk.

Arial view of large pond in front of farmhouse

Close-up of large pond

Close-up of large pond

It’s a team effort

Projects such as these are at the core of what Eden Rivers Trust do, but they would not be possible without people such as Mike and Ruth who are willing to give areas of land to make space for water and wildlife for the benefit of everyone.

Also integral to a project such as this are the partners that enable such works to happen.

The main partner is the Environment Agency, who not only provide most of the funding for this project, but also a wealth of advice and assistance.
The remainder of the funding has been secured thanks to the Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership Scheme which is supported by a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. This means that this project will also form part of a much larger, landscape-scale approach that will unlock and reveal the hidden heritage of the Westmorland Dales, enabling more people to connect with, enjoy and benefit from this inspirational landscape.

Other partners and stakeholders include Natural England (advice and assistance), Dynamic Rivers Ltd. (feasibility and design work), Michael Morley and Nicola Chappelhow (principal contractor), Cumbria County Council (permitting and advice), Yorkshire Dales National Park (archaeological advice and assistance) and more still to come.

field with a new pond dug into it

New pond/water storage area

Woody debris dams

Woody debris dams installed to slow the flow and trap sediment

Environment Agency logo
Westmorland Dales logo
National Lottery Heritage Fund logo


Eden Rivers Kingfisher Icon
Eden Rivers Kingfisher Icon