St John’s Beck is a key tributary of the River Greta. It flows from Thirlmere through St John’s in the Vale, and meets the River Glenderamackin south-west of Threlkeld.
The catchment contains Thirlmere Reservoir, a major source of drinking water for the North-West, owned and managed by United Utilities.
St John’s Beck is a protected site and supports a number of important habitats and species, including Atlantic Salmon and Lamprey which are sadly experiencing a rapid global decline. The area is a working rural landscape, supporting many farming families and businesses who already play a significant role in conserving and improving the valley. The catchment also contains significant areas of ancient woodland and blanket bogs amongst a range of other habitats.
Like many of our local rivers, areas of St John’s Beck suffer from historic physical modifications which have affected the ecology of the river. The changes have reduced in-river spawning areas, juvenile and adult fish habitat, and the abundance of food sources. The catchment also contributes to flood risk in Keswick town.