The project

The R4ever Kent project is a partnership project that runs over five years. Building on previous work and paving the way for more, the collaboration between Natural England, Environment Agency, Freshwater Biological Association and South Cumbria Rivers Trust is restoring the River Kent Special Area of Conservation in South Cumbria.

Focussing on habitat restoration and a carefully trialled reinforcement programme for the designated Freshwater Pearl Mussel, the project’s actions will also help the native White Clawed Crayfish and Bullhead, supporting ecosystems. Bringing together local land managers, schools, volunteers, organisations and embracing the local community’s input, the LIFE R4ever Kent project aims to Revitalise and Restore the River, making it more Resilient to the climate pressures of the future.

Our story

Like the best naturally flowing rivers, our story meanders, twists and turns, never running straight!
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November 2017

South Cumbria Rivers Trust complete their previous restoration project on the River Kent funded by BIFFA

September 2018

Freshwater Biological Association finish their Restoring Freshwater Mussel Rivers in England project which ran from 2015 to 2018

May 2020

Natural England, Environment Agency, Freshwater Biological Association and South Cumbria Rivers Trust discuss a partnership project to restore the River Kent

March 2021

March 2021 Grant Bid submitted to LIFE for the project – fingers crossed!

October 2021

October 2021 – The Partnership Project LIFE R4ever Kent officially begins! Let’s get to work…

July 2022

The start of the in-river working season begins with the first round of physical restoration works on the River Kent and its tributaries getting going after all consents and permits arranged


Our aims

The river Kent catchment in Cumbria is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Special Area for Conservation (SAC) – this means that it is an area given greater protection under the Habitats Directive, and is a focus for conservation efforts! 


A fantastic output the project is able to facilitate is that the Freshwater Biological Association is currently working on a new paper, investigating suitability of potential donor populations of juvenile freshwater pearl mussels for restoring the River Kent SAC, Cumbria. 


Invasive Non-native species are an issue across the country, but especially along watercourses where seeds can spread more easily. Our project is working with an army of volunteers to remove these problem species, and raise awareness of what everyone can do to help, wherever they live.


We recognise that information is key, and sharing information benefits everyone. This page is a pool of resources for information linked to the project.

Get in touch with us

Knowledge is best shared, talk to us today.

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  • Volunteers
  • School groups
  • Citizen scientists

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