Thousands of tonnes of gravel dredged from River Greta

Thousands of tonnes of gravel are being dredged from the River Greta in Keswick.
Between 2,500 and 3,000 tonnes of material is expected to be cleared from inside the river bend by Fitz Park towards the High Hill area.
The Environment Agency is working in partnership with Keswick Ministries which owns the former Pencil Factory site near the river. The site provides a vital point of access into the river and a place to dump and load the aggregate onto lorries.
Work started this week and is expected to take one month to complete.
The river dredging is a free service by the Environment Agency. Dredging of the river bed also took place in October last year.
Adrian Bacon, of the Environment Agency, said: “Following Storm Desmond there has been an increase in the amount of active erosion areas in the River Greta catchment. This means that during flood events more gravel is mobilised and deposited within the town.
“The level of gravel at the Pencil Mill bend has now reached a point where it will start to have a negative impact on the level of protection offered by the flood defences on High Hill and Crosthwaite road, therefore it’s important that the gravel is removed before the winter period.”
David Sawday, chief operating officer of Keswick Ministries, said: “We are happy to give the Environment Agency access to our site to be able to carry out this dredging work. There is a huge amount of material to be collected over the next month before winter sets in.”

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