Source to Sea

The Source to Sea Programme will tackle the causes of water pollution in the rivers and tributaries flowing into Morecambe Bay and improve the landscape through which the water flows. It will also look to raise awareness of water quality issues amongst communities living and working around the Bay.

 Looking out towards salt marsh and Morcombe bay with black-headed gull, Leighton Moss RSPB reserve


The Source to Sea project will address Water Framework Directive failings (via the Catchment Restoration Fund- CRF) on many of the rivers and catchments which flow into Morecambe Bay, including the Rivers: Lune, Wenning, Roeburn, Kent, Mint, Sprint, Rawthey, Winster, Gilpin, Keer, Wyre, Cocker, Pilling Water and Duddon.
It will restore the natural connections along watercourses (removing barriers) and between watercourses and their floodplains and headwaters (restoring habitats).
We will work in partnership with landowners and managers to bring about land management change to benefit water quality and we will raise awareness amongst coastal communities living and working around Morecambe Bay.


  • Morecambe Bay and its river catchments should be considered holistically as one interacting entity. Therefore the Source to Sea Programme is a pan-Morecambe Bay Catchment Restoration Fund initiative, which encompasses restoration projects for a range of waterbodies, protected sites and associated priority habitats and species.
  • The Source to Sea Programme will deliver wider protected area measures, focussing on EU Habitats Directive outcomes on water dependent Sites of Special Scientific Interest, Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas as well as delivering benefits for bathing waters and helping to meet the Shellfish Directive.
  • Several protected species will also directly benefit from the Programme, including salmonids and eels.

Planned Work

With partners, we are starting capital projects on wetland sites that will address diffuse pollution issues, through restoring priority wetland habitat. Cumbria Wildlife Trust partners have undertaken aerial surveys of blanket bogs and detailed on the ground mapping and have commenced blocking “grips” (ditches) on Borrowdale Moss. 
The Lune Rivers Trust partners are starting work to remove obstructions to migratory fish in tributaries, and have put in more than 4 km of fencing on riverbanks to protect water quality on the Upper Wenning, and River Rawthey. The Morecambe Bay Partnership has undertaken beach cleans with volunteers and is raising awareness of water issues in the area.


Source to Sea is funded by the Government’s Catchment Restoration Fund and administered through the Environment Agency.


Coast on a stormy day

Richard Cooper

Source to Sea Project Officer, RSPB
Tagged with: Country: England Habitat: Farmland Habitat: Wetland Project status: Ongoing Project types: Site protection