Lower Derwent working group


The Lower Derwent is one of the most industrial areas within West Cumbria. There are a very complex set of interests in the river including weirs, abstraction rights, rail and road infrastructure, flood mitigation and the tidal influence.  The main issues are flooding in Workington, Barepots and Seaton and the barriers to fish migration presented by Yearl and Coups weir.

The group is looking for better options for all round management of the river including flood risk, biodiversity and recreation.

The working group:

The working group is chaired by Highways England. Currently, the following organisations/groups are represented on the working group:

  • Allerdale Borough Council (Chair)
  • Environment Agency
  • Natural England
  • Cumbria County Council
  • West Cumbria Rivers Trust
  • Iggesunds
  • United Utilities
  • Marine Management Organisation
  • Workington Flood Action group

What’s happened so far?

The working group met in April 2018 to review the background information on the area and gain a common understanding of the issues. The group decided that it should cover the area from the confluence of Marron to the sand bar at the mouth of the Derwent. Currently the group are waiting for the Environment Agency modelling of the area to inform decisions.

A feasibility study on Coups weir and Gale brook is underway to assess options to reduce flood risk to Barepots and improve fish passage.  The Environment Agency has provided the funding for this study, which is being managed by West Cumbria Rivers Trust.