United Utilities Cumbria water supply project

(Photo: J Taylor/WTML)

United Utilities has proposed a new water supply project in West Cumbria that will have major impacts on ancient woods and trees in the Lake District National Park.

Ennerdale Water is due to lose its abstraction licence in order to protect England’s largest population of freshwater mussels and prevent a breach of the EC Habitats Directive. Thirlmere Reservoir has been identified as the alternative water source for the area. A raw water aqueduct will carry water north-west of Thirlmere to a water treatment works north of Cockermouth.

Ancient woods and veteran trees will suffer as a result

Update: Following a decision at the planning committee meeting to approve the application, sadly the project has been given the go ahead.

As a result four hectares of ancient woodland will be permanently and irreversibly damaged and lost. Of the 21 veteran trees that had been identified as likely being affected, we expect that a significant portion of these will be lost and that the rest will suffer considerable damage over the course of implementing the scheme. It’s safe to say the Trust is deeply saddened by these losses.

If you would like to find out more information regarding the application you can view the documentation on the Lake District National Park Authority’s website via planning application 7/2016/2027