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Cumbria's rivers are flowing back in time

A multi-million pound project designed to return parts of Cumbria's countryside to how it used to be is underway.

Hundreds of years ago some of the county's rivers were straightened to make farming easier.

That work is now being reversed in the hope that it will make a better environment for local wildlife.

Amy Dunsmuir has more:

River project will benefit wildlife and reduce flood risk

A multi-million pound project to return parts of the Cumbrian countryside to its natural state is underway.

Hundreds of years ago some of the county's rivers were straightened to expand surrounding land and make farming easier.

Now, a project is underway to reverse that work and improve the surrounding areas for local wildlife.

The work will see some of the original river beds excavated and the river re-routed along them.

Eden Rivers Trust, the Environment Agency and Natural England have been working closely with local landowners and tenant farmers on the project.

The project is set to be finished at the end of the summer.

Maggie Robinson from Natural England explains the benefits of the project:


The 'Big Garden Watch': How you can get involved

For people living in built up areas or those looking to get out into the wider countryside the RSPB are organising events over the weekend of the 25th-26th of January.

Visitors to Whinlatter Visitor Centre in Keswick and Grizedale Visitor Centre in Ambleside on those days will be able to take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch there as well as learning how to attract more wildlife into their gardens and how to identify the wildlife they see in them.

There will also be an event at Leighton Moss on the 18-19 of January.

You can register to take part in Big Garden Birdwatch 2014 and find out more information about events near you at or call 0300 456 8330.


Top 10 species spotted in Cumbria

  1. House Sparrow
House Sparrow Credit: Hinrich BÀsemann/DPA/Press Association Images
  1. Chaffinch
Chaffinch Credit: David Jones/PA Archive/Press Association Images
  1. Blackbird
Blackbird Credit: Tim Brakemeier/DPA/Press Association Images
  1. Blue Tit
Blue Tit Credit: Tim Brakemeier/DPA/Press Association Images
  1. Starling
Starling Credit: Tim Goode/PA Archive/Press Association Images
  1. Great Tit
Great Tit Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Archive/Press Association Images
  1. Coal Tit
Coal Tit Credit: David Jones/PA Archive/Press Association Images
  1. Jackdaw

  2. Robin

Robin Credit: Nigel French/EMPICS Sport
  1. Long Tailed Tit
Long Tailed Tit Credit: Chris Ison/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Wildfire Warning from Scottish Natural Heritage

Scottish Natural Heritage is warning people visiting the countryside this weekend about the dangers of wildfires.

The hot dry weather means uncontrolled fire could spread quickly across agricultural land and wildlife habitats.

SNH is asking people to be careful with cigarettes and disposable barbecues if they are out enjoying the sunshine.

  • Whenever possible, use a stove rather than light an open fire. If you do light one, keep it small and under control, and remove all traces before leaving.
  • Avoid lighting fires at all during prolonged dry periods, woods, farmland, peaty ground or near to buildings as fires that get out of control.
  • When using a disposable barbeque, put it on a heat-proof surface, such as sand or stones before you light it. Make sure the barbeque is cold before you take it away with the rest of your rubbish.
  • Dispose of cigarette butts in bins.

Full report: Wildlife protected along new Borders rail route

Work to re-build the Borders railway line is now underway, but while bridges are built and tracks are laid, construction workers need to think about protecting the local wildlife.

The track crosses over the River Tweed, which is home to otters, protected fish and a variety of flowers.

Jenny Longden has been visiting the site to find out what is being done to keep them safe:

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