Friends of the Lake District have agreed to host an exciting new research project on our land at High Borrowdale in a partnership with the University of Cumbria and with the support of funding provided by United Utilities.

The University of Cumbria will be conducting research into how the characteristically steep fell sides of Cumbria can best be stabilised, thus reducing surface run-off and landslide events, particularly during Storm events, in an effective and environmentally friendly way.

As part of a three year trial we will investigate the effectiveness of a material called Sisal in slope stabilisation. Unlike plastic based alternatives, which are currently widely used, Sisal has the potential to be significantly more effective, as it is water absorbent, and significantly more environmentally friendly as it is made from natural, biodegradable materials. 

(pictured) landslide on our property at High Borrowdale following December 2015 storm events

The study will also compare the impact of using Sisal for this purpose to other natural materials such as coir and jute. The trial will run over three years and be led by Dr Lois Mansfield of the University of Cumbria.

Regular photographic monitoring work will also be carried out by our Friends of the Lake District volunteers. If this trial is successful, this best practice will be rolled out to land managers across the Lake District and Cumbria.

We hope that this will be at the leading edge of research that would help inform actions relating to flood recovery and climate change mitigation. We will be contributing not only the use of our property, our time and our volunteers time in monitoring, but also money kindly donated by members to our Flood Recovery Appeal.