Understanding and Activing Wtihin Loweswater: A community approach to cathment management
Department of Sociology, Bowland North, Lancaster University, LA1 4YD, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 1524 594178 Fax: +44 (0) 1524 594256 E-mail: sociology@lancaster.ac.uk
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In 2011, LCP participants produced a booklet about the Loweswater Care Project and how it worked, the visions it had, and what it achieved between 2008-2010. This booklet, "Dealing with Environmental Challenges Collectively: The Loweswater Care Project - Community Catchment Management at Loweswater, Cumbria", is available here.

Community Report 2011

'Understanding and Acting in Loweseater: A Community Approach to Catchment Management' was produced by the Lancaster research team in June 2011.

Summary Report 2011 Natural Science findings

This brief report summarizes the natural science findings from the research carried out for the project.

Reports from the small research projects

Loweswater Care Project participants were enable through a grant of £35,000 (allocated for that purpose in the original funding application to the Rural Economy and Land-Use Program (RELU)) to carry out research in an area of their interest. A call for research project proposals went out in February 2009 through the LCP, and five proposals were approved for funding.

Research commenced in the same year and continued into 2010. Reports from these projects can be accessed via the links below. Please do not use the findings of these reports without acknowledging their authors, and request permission from them if you wish to use or reproduce any of the graphs or figures contained in them.

Bennion, Helen and Winchester, Angus (2010) "Linking historical land-use change with palaelolimnological records of nutrient change in Loweswater, Cumbria"

Davies, David and Clarke, Emer (2010) "Community and Culture - Tourism in a Quiet Valley"

Haycock, Nick from Haycock Associates (2010) "Hydrogeomorphological investigation of the main streams feeding into and out of Loweswater"

Webb, Leslie (2010) "Survey of local washing practices and septic tank operation in relation to domestic phosphorus inputs to Loweswater"

Leslie Webb's power-point presentation of his findings can be viewed here. Given the importance of well-functioning septic tanks to the state of the lake, the National Trust has supplied further information about septic tanks, which can be found here, and the Environment Agency provided information about septic tank design and installation, septic tank maintenance, and disposal options.

Modelling Report

Lisa Norton and Stephen Maberly and colleagues have made available their power-point presentation on the modelling aspects of the RELU project, which summarises their findings. To see this presentation, please click here.

Leaflet Research Update 2008

For a leaflet on research finding up to December 2008 click here.

Articles in Refereed Journals

  • Norton, L., Elliott, J.A., Maberly, S.C., May, L. (2011) ‘Using models to bridge the gap between land use and algal blooms: an example from the Loweswater catchment, UK’, Environmental Modelling and Software
  • Norton, L., Maberly, S.C., Eliott, A., May, L., Rockliffe, J. (2011) 'Sustainable farming in an upland water catchment', Aspects of Applied Biology, 109.
  • Tsouvalis, J., Waterton, C. (2011; under review) ‘The Loweswater Care Project, Cumbria: building ‘participation’ upon critique’, Environmental Modelling and Software
  • Tsouvalis, J., Waterton, C. (under review), ‘On the political nature of cyanobacteria: experimenting with intra-active collective politics in Loweswater, the English Lake District’, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space
  • Maberly, S., Norton, L., Tsouvalis, J., Waterton, C., Watson, N., Winfield, I. J. (in preparation) ‘Environmental governance for sustainable outcomes – re-thinking the significance of ‘scale’ and the role of ‘publics’, Environment and Planning A: Policy and Planning
  • Norton, L., Tsouvalis, J. (in preparation) ‘Links between social and natural capital in the uplands - lessons from Loweswater’, Land Use Policy
  • Watson, N.M., Heathwaite, A.L., Maberly, S., Norton, L., Waterton, C. Tsouvalis, J. and Haygarth, P. (2009) ‘Integrated Catchment Management and the WFD: Dealing with the Complexity and Uncertainty of Diffuse Pollution form Agriculture’, Tearmann: The Irish Journal of Agri-Environmental Research, 195-210

 Book Chapters

  • Tsouvalis, J., Waterton, C., Winfield, I.J. (2011) ‘Intra-Actions In Loweswater, Cumbria: New Collectives, Blue-Green Algae, and the Visualization of Invisible Presences Through Sound and Science’, in Architectures of Visuality, Rose, G., Tolia-Kelly, D. (eds.)
  • Norton, L., Bracken, L., Grischeff, J. ‘The role of communication for managing risk’ submitted as a chapter in a book arising from a workshop on Water and Risk at Durham University in January 2010.
  • Waterton, C. Norton, L. and Tsouvalis, J. (2012) The Loweswater Care Project, Cumbria in Smith, L., K. Porter, K. Hiscock, M.J. Porter, and D. Benson (Ed.), (2012) Catchment and River Basin Management: Integrating Science and Governance, a volume of case studies and synthesis under contract with and preparation for publication with Earthscan (Taylor and Francis).Can be supplied by Waterton.


  • Maberly, S., Norton, L., Tsouvalis, J., Waterton, C., Watson, N., Winfield, I. J.  (2011; in preparation) ‘New forms of participatory environmental governance: experiences and challenges from Loweswater, Cumbria’, Report from a conference held in Penrith, 3 December 2010
  • Bell, K., Maberly, S., Norton, L., Tsouvalis, J., Waterton, C., Watson, N., Winfield, I. J. (2011) ‘Understanding and Acting in Loweswater: a Community Approach to Catchment Management’, Summary Report for the Loweswater Care Project (LCP) and the Loweswater Community
  • Waterton, C., Maberly, S., Norton, L., Tsouvalis, J., Watson, N., Winfield, I. (2012) Public Participation in Catchment Management – Experiences from Loweswater, Cumbria. Lancaster University/Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Lancaster.  (Knowledge Exchange Report, written for NERC in 2012. It aims to use the insights from participatory work at Loweswater to help inform the EA/DEFRA national Catchment Management Pilots.)



  • TV broadcast ‘Country File’ on 25 September 2011:  featuring the farmer, Ken Bell, who was employed 1 day per week as a  ‘Community Researcher’  on the RELU project 2007-2010. 


Powerpoint Presentations


Lancaster University


Rural Economy and Land Use


Centre for Ecology and Hydrology

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