Cumbrian river work leads to award shortlisting

Categories: School of Science, Engineering and Environment

The Environment Agency and partners, including the University of Salford, have been selected as finalists for the prestigious European Riverprize, for their work across Cumbria to reinstate natural river processes that benefit both people and wildlife, as part of the Cumbria River Restoration Strategy.   

The European Riverprize celebrates excellence in the management, conservation and development of Europe’s rivers, wetlands and surrounding communities. The work across Cumbrian rivers has been recognised as one of just three finalists in Europe, up against projects in the Vjosa River in Greece and Albania and the Mura, Drava and Danube Rivers through central Europe.  

The Cumbria River Restoration Strategy was developed to help improve the quality and function of three catchment areas, the Rivers Eden, Derwent and Kent. These also include areas of scientific interest and special areas of conservation. Many of our rivers have historically been extensively modified, compromising natural habitats and the benefits that rivers naturally provide us with. Reintroducing natural processes, such as variation in flows, connection with floodplains and sediment management, can reshape rivers to provide the diversity of habitats required for a healthy river ecosystem and ensure their long-term recovery.  

Olly Southgate, Cumbria River Restoration Programme Manager at the Environment Agency said:    

“We are thrilled to have been nominated as a finalist for the European River Awards. It’s heartwarming to see the work of the Cumbria River Restoration programme being recognised on an international scale.   

“Delivering river restoration work can provide a wide range of benefits, creating better natural habitats for wildlife and reducing flood risk through innovative nature-based solutions.  

“We would like to thank all partners, stakeholders, local communities and private landowners involved in bringing this programme to fruition. In an ever-changing climate it’s work like this that will help to improve our environment for generations to come.”  

Professor Neil Entwistle at the University of Salford said: 

“It’s a pleasure to be involved in the innovative Cumbrian River Restoration Strategy, which has often embedded cutting edge research to assist the designers, trusts, and contractors, in creating sustainable river projects. These are often monitored and investigated by our students, citizen science, and academics, for biodiversity, ecohydrology, longevity and wider good practice science communication.” 

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