Project summary


Funding from The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development has been awarded to the South West Peak Landscape Partnership to support the new Upstream Thinking project and will complement funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund. Upstream Thinking draws on the experience of farmers and local landowners to improve water quality by increasing understanding, capital investment and natural flood management in the South West Peak. By supporting sustainable upstream land management, far-reaching water quality improvements can be achieved. Upstream Thinking will include a range of work such as producing farm water & soil plans to help reduce diffuse pollution, removing non-native invasive species and creating new habitats.The project will also restore habitats like wet heath and blanket bog which retain a large amount of water and act as natural filters to slow the flow of water into local rivers and filter out many impurities. This benefits us all by encouraging natural processes to maintain healthy rivers; and healthy water makes for healthy communities.

For those who are keen to help improve local watercourses there are many opportunities to volunteer and get your hands dirty on the front-line of environmental conservation. The installation of leaky dams (features constructed to slow the flow of water in problem areas), and the targeted removal of invasive species such as Himalayan Balsam are labour intensive and require a group effort.
If you are interested in getting a great workout, meeting interesting people and helping the environment to boot you can learn more and register on our Volunteer page.

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What we're doing

  • Drawing on the experience of farmers and local landowners to improve water quality.
  • Increasing capital investment and natural flood management in the South West Peak.
  • Supporting sustainable upstream land management.
  • Removing non-native invasive species and creating new habitats.
  • Restoring wet heath and blanket bog habitats to provide natural filters for local rivers.

Upcoming activities

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Learn more about Upstream Thinking in the South West Peak

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Working with natural processes (WWNP) means taking action to manage flood risk by restoring or emulating the natural function of catchments, rivers and floodplains.

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Who's working on this project?


Andrew Farmer

Andrew Farmer

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David Cooper

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Karen Shelley-Jones

Karen Shelley-Jones

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Our partners


  • Environment Agency
  • Peak District National Park Authority