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Eden Catchment

The Eden catchment is a 2288 km² area of land in Cumbria, located between the North Pennines and the Lake District in the north west of England, drained by the River Eden. The River Eden rises in Mallerstang and flows north 145 km to the Solway Firth and into the Irish Sea. It is part of the Eden and Esk River Basin in the Solway Tweed River Basin District. Altitude varies between 950 m a.s.l. at Hellvelyn in the Lake District on the western edge of the catchment, and 28 m a.s.l. at Carlisle.

The catchment is predominantly agricultural (97%), supporting both upland and lowland agriculture. Farms may be owner-occupied or tenanted, with these rented from institutional or private estates with a mixture of tenants and tenancy agreements. Small family farms are the most common farm type. The is a large area of common grazing land in the uplands, and this plays an important role within the catchment.

The catchment supports 150000 residents, distributed through numerous villages, four towns (Kirkby Stephen, Appleby-in-Westmorland, Penrith, Brampton), and one city (Carlisle) located at the catchment outlet.

The Eden is a Natura 2000 site, part of a network of nature protection areas established under the EU Habitats Directive. It includes a diverse set of catchment landscapes, with varying physical and agricultural characteristics. Each of the three DTC subcatchments, Newby, Thackthwaite and Pow, is representative of a part of the Eden.

The ‘Land’ store contains different sub-stores:


Residential buildings

Farm buildings – storage of feed, silage, slurry, livestock, harvested crops

Septic tanks

Drainage networks

Industry (inc. consented discharges)

Roads and tracks

Surface water storage – wetlands, sediment traps, scrapes, ponds




Wildlife – terrestrial, aquatic



Crops – type, rotation

Grassland – permanent, reseeded, improved intensive, extensive





These stocks are linked to or disconnected from the river via connectivity features which operate within the ‘Land’ store.