Award for Cumbrian river project

A conservation project for a Cumbrian river has been so successful it has been given a national award.

River project awarded

A conservation project to improve the quality of the River Petteril in Carlisle has won a national award.

The River Petteril was once renowned for its trout fishing, but recently was identified by the Environment Agency as being "poor" in terms of water quality and its fish populations.

Pollution was identified as a major problem, arising from various sources such as farms, roads, inadequate sewage systems and domestic septic tanks.

Working with farmers much of the focus was on reducing how much animal waste was washed in to watercourses and improving drainage and guttering.

More than 5km of river bank has been fenced to prevent farm animals from reaching the river. More than 2,000 trees have been planted along the river to stabilise the banks and allow more wildlife to feed and breed in the river.

Barriers that stopped fish migrating upstream have been improved.

"We are delighted to have received this award, which recognises the achievements and benefits of this collaborative way of working. None of this would have been possible without the fantastic support and commitment of the local farming community.

"The project will benefit all those concerned with the river and its surroundings, and make it a better place for people and wildlife."

– Simon Johnson, Director of Eden Rivers Trust