Goldrill Beck Realignment and Naturalisation
Goldrill Beck is notified as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Special Area of Conservation (SAC) as a part of the Eden and Tributaries SSSI/SAC. The SSSI Units have been subject to physical modifications affecting its optimal functioning as a habitat for characteristic wildlife communities. As a result it is classed as being in ‘unfavourable condition’.
The National Trust had a timely opportunity to begin the restoration of the Goldrill Beck watercourse and valley bottom geomorphology.
The restoration had to be in line with Natural England and Environment Agency initiatives to deliver against all of the following priorities:
- Remove the risk to the A592 posed by the existing river channel.
- Deliver against the river restoration remedy for the SAC.
- To provide no increase in, and where possible decrease in, flood risk to infrastructure and communities downstream of the project.
- To provide no risk to upstream infrastructure through changes in river bed level. Where potential risk is identified mitigation must be built in.
- To deliver a river and floodplain which are governed by natural process and require no ongoing management.
- To ensure Atlantic salmon habitat is enhanced in both quality and quantity.
The watercourse drains the catchment above Patterdale via a series of steep bedrock influenced headwater tributaries including Caiston Beck, Cauldale Beck and Dovedale Beck which pass through Brothers Water and the principal tributary, Pasture Beck, which confluences below this waterbody. Angletarn Beck drains from Angle Tarn, discharging onto the Goldrill Beck floodplain from the right bank where it has formed a significant fan deposit. Goldrill Beck has been significantly modified and now flows along the left hand edge of the valley bottom through the study reach where it is presently impacting the A592.
The preferred option was to realign the channel over the right bank floodplain using a combination of single and multi thread channels with appropriate morphology to encourage natural processes but prevent widespread destabilisation to ensure appropriate future land use across the floodplain.