Hartsop River Restoration

Ullswater Valley has suffered three major flooding events in the last 10 years. The most recent of which, Storm Desmond in 2015, saw widespread flooding across Cumbria. The area of Hartsop was significantly impacted, with many bridges and embankments significantly damaged.

The National Trust developed a programme of river restoration works and bridge replacements to improve access and increase farm and local business resilience in the area.




River Restoration


Circa £500k


National Trust UK

Kirkstone Beck runs through the centre of the floodplain which is part of Hartsop Hall Farm tenancy. Caudale Beck is a steep mountain torrent, crossing under the A592 and joining Kirkstone Beck in the base of the valley. The deteriorating embankments were in a poor condition, with some sections having already failed. The damaged bridge over Kirkstone Beck was the only vehicle access to Hartsop Hall Farm and the temporary fix was nearing the end of its intended usage. A small footbridge over Caudale Beck was also significantly damaged along with some retaining walls which protects a residential and agricultural buildings.

The works included the re-meandering of Kirkstone, Caudale and Dovedail beck which included the construction of new embankments, embankment removal and embankment repairs using site won material. The forming of in river islands, excavating around existing trees in the new widenings. The excavation of river widenings and wandering zone to aid the slowing of the watercourses with the introduction of stone riffles, boulder bars and boulder rapids. The construction of the stone riffles, boulder bars and boulder rapids were formed using site won stone ranging from 100mm to over 500mm in size. Tree clearance was undertaken to accommodate the works area.

The construction of a double span bridge to access Hartsop Hall Farm, which included stone clad concrete abutments, the installation of two steel bridges, formwork and concreting of the reinforced bridge decks. Finished with timber parapet handrails and 80m of concrete approach roads.

The construction of a single span bridge to access either side of Caudale beck, which included concrete abutments which were stone clad, the manufacture and installation of one steel bridge, installation of Dutch oak sleeper bridge deck and stoned up approach roads.

The repair and installation of concrete reinforced dry stone retaining walls to the river embankments at Caudale beck.

ICE North West Civil Engineering Awards Winner of the Future Resilience Award.