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Rivers & Wetlands


Rivers and wetlands are the lifeblood of a landscape, providing vital habitat connectivity and a home to a huge array of wildlife. Healthy rivers and wetlands are vital to people too – for drinking water, the reduction of flood risk, as places to swim, fish and play.

As a species, we have treated our rivers with wanton disrespect, straightening and dredging them, removing trees and wildflower from banks and floodplains, plugging them into drainage systems designed to get the water away as quickly as possible. This has led to all sorts of downstream issues, not least an increase in flood risk for many communities.

Restoring Floodplains


Instead of trying to dispose of water, the focus at Lowther is now on how to store it – in floodplain wetlands, ponds and pools. Over the past few years, we have carried out a number of river and wetland restoration projects.

At Setterah Park, alongside the Environment Agency and Eden Rivers Trust, we reconnected a long section of the River Lowther with its former floodplain. The river now winds its way through long-lost meanders, spilling out onto wet grazing meadows and developing woodlands with fluid ease. A host of species including dragonflies, amphibians, wading birds have returned. Tall wetland plants, willows and alders are thriving, helping to slow the flow and protect those who live downstream.