Cumbria Wetlands Project

The Cumbria Wetlands Project was preceded by the three-year Cumbria Wetland Bird Recovery Project, which helped restore more than three square kilometres of former wet grassland.

 Young Lapwing on Alistair Robb's farm. Stirlingshire. Scotland.


The Cumbria Wetlands Project started in 2008. It was preceded by the Cumbria Wetland Bird Recovery Project (CWBRP), a 3-year Project which helped to restore more than three square kilometres of former wet grassland into optimum conditions for breeding wading birds as well as restoring BAP habitat.
The Cumbria Wetland Bird Recovery Project helped to create or restore more than a square kilometre of wet grassland habitat in the Sandford area, almost a square kilometre in the Holme Dub area, almost half a square kilometre at Dubwath and 0.2 square kilometres at Lindale near Grange. It also helped raise the profile of wet grassland habitats.
Nature conservation is increasingly looking at a landscape scale approach to conservation due to the multiple benefits which include:
· Significant long-term biodiversity gains being more likely on large and congruent wetland agri-environment schemes
· Larger sites may be more robust in retaining biodiversity value through climate change.
· Larger sites can improve the chances of successful breeding of some species of conservation concern.
· Large sites may also have potential which is more multi-functional.


  • Half a square kilometre of land per year re-wetted to provide optimum habitat for breeding curlews, redshanks, lapwings and snipe

Planned Work

The Lyth valley area near Kendal and the Duddon Valley on the Furness peninsula both have some exciting, large-scale wet grassland restoration work taking place. Both are part of the Morecambe Bay Wetlands Project, part of the 50-year Wetland Vision.
The Holme Dub complex near Aspatria and the Upper Eden Valley, around Appleby are continuing to be developed and starting to show the benefits of large-scale wetland restoration.   


Sandford near Appleby: two pairs of snipe in 2004 increased to five pairs in 2008 and 11 pairs in 2010: numbers of redshank increased from one pair in 2004 to five pairs in 2008, with three pairs still present in 2010.


This is a partnership with the Environment Agency with support from Natural England


Environment Agency and Natural England


PDF, 3.22Mb - Map showing potential re-wetting areas in northern Cumbria

Cumbria Wetlands Project


Coast on a stormy day

Tonia Armer

NIA Wetland Adviser, RSPB
Tagged with: Country: England Habitat: Farmland Habitat: Grassland Habitat: Wetland Species: Curlew Species: Lapwing Species: Redshank Species: Snipe Project status: Project types: Species protection