The Catchment Plan

As a partnership we have developed an overview catchment plan and five individual catchment plans to guide our work across South Cumbria. Our plan is about action, we don’t want to spend endless time writing a new static document, we want to be out there putting our plans into action. However, it is vital we have a plan: delivering actions and raising awareness, takes management and communication.

Please take a look at the catchment pages on the tabs opposite. If you have any comments or ideas please share these with us via the discussion forum. This keeps the plans evolving, thereby protecting our landscape for future generations.

Our Vision:

A healthy, sustainable and diverse catchment system, providing a wide range of benefits which are valued by all.

Windermere

Windermere

Why do we need a catchment plan?

The spectacular location of South Cumbria supports a wide range of habitats which are home to some of our rarest and most loved species. These include Atlantic salmon, freshwater pearl mussels, otters, kingfishers and the native white clawed crayfish.

White Clawed Crayfish © Natural England

White Clawed Crayfish © Natural England

Although on the surface this may look like a healthy landscape pressures on our rivers are evident everywhere: diffuse pollution, abstraction, invasive non-native species, a lack of habitat and a legacy of channel modifications all combine to influence the state of our rivers. This directly impacts us as we all require clean water for drinking and bathing. Therefore we are developing a ‘catchment plan’ to identify the issues and prioritize our actions so we can all enjoy the benefits of ‘healthy, sustainable and diverse catchments’.

What would you like to see for the catchments of South Cumbria in 10 years time?

We need to take action to support the environment, economy and cultural identity of our local area. The landscape provides us with a wide range of benefits, otherwise known as ‘ecosystem services’ including:

  • Clean drinking and bathing water
  • Water for industry and agriculture
  • An area for recreation
  • Food and fuel
  • Regulation of water flows, particularly under flood and drought conditions
  • A home for native wildlife
  • Climate change regulation

    Ecosystem Services © metrovancouver.org

    Ecosystem Services © metrovancouver.org

Ultimately, our landscape is a central asset underpinning a large part of our economy. Therefore, it is important that all of these services are working together and the benefits are recognised. Freshwater systems provide us with a large range of benefits entirely free of charge. However, this is usually not recognised and frequently undervalued. Furthermore, many services are not managed sustainably, thereby depleting the resources for future generations.  Accelerated loss of species and changes to habitats, largely due to human interference, threatens the ability of our landscape to continue to provide these essential benefits.

We need to meet the needs of the present without compromising the needs of the future.

Delivering the Plan

Themes

Becks to Bay recognizes that many factors contribute to the health of our catchments and that these factors don’t operate in isolation. Therefore, we have established the following seven themes to guide us in our work. These themes all interlink, enabling us to look towards delivering multiple benefits through our projects. Key to all of these is connecting, engaging and involving a wide range of audiences including local communities, businesses and landowners.