The Swindale Beck Restoration Project in the Lake District has scooped a major award in recognition for its contribution to creating new fish habitat.
The restoration scheme beat off stiff competition to win this year’s Wild Trout Trust Award for Best Large-Scale Habitat Enhancement scheme, which was presented at a glittering ceremony in London last week (Tuesday, 17 October).
A few hundred years ago, part of Swindale Beck was straightened to create more farmland. While this modification benefited local farmers at the time, it made life difficult for wildlife including fish such as salmon and trout.
Last summer, the RSPB and United Utilities – working in partnership with the Environment Agency and Natural England – restored the natural bends to the straightened section of the Beck.
This has slowed down the flow of the river and has already benefited wildlife, with salmon spawning in the new stretch.
The Swindale Valley Restoration Project has been delivered under the Cumbria River Restoration Program. This program aims to restore many watercourses across Cumbria back to their natural former glory.