The area in concern is Ennerdale, which is located in the west of Cumbria in the Lake District. The lake is called ennerdale lake was once part if a conflict between many factors over the resource of water which is reserved in ennerdale lake.
The proposal given was from North West water authority to the Lake District special planning board. The proposal was to increase the water level of the lake by 1.2 meters by increasing the height of an existing damn towards the west of ennerdale lake.
The original depth was 43 meters 43 meters and would increase this to 44.2 meters. This would increase the capacity of the lake in order to meet consumption demands.The reason for the increased demand for the capacity was due to the pervious low levels of the lake in drought conditions because the outlet towards the west of the lake was too high during drought to let water pass through and also resulting in the water not reaching the intake and filter works of the lakes edge. In past times of drought, large pumps were used to try and counter for the water which wasn’t accessible to the water authority.Not only were there surrounding areas of local inhabitants but two very large companies who needed the water for everyday industrial use.
Albright and Wilson is a large consumer of water which supplied acids such as phosphoric acid for drinks companies such as coca cola, and they also supplied different types of detergents for industrial use. Another large company in the area is sellafield nuclear plant who use ennerdale lakes water supply in urgent need in case of emergencies as a course of back up. A direct pipeline to sellafield is provided as supply the back up supply.Another reason for the NWWA to increase the water capacity of the lake was to centralise demand for water. A lot of the surrounding areas used other resources such as local reservoirs to obtain their water.
NWWA wanted to centralise eh consumption of water of surrounding areas into Ennerdale Lake which would achieve economies of scale by reducing costs. Due to the large demand in water and recent dry summers at the time, something had to be done and is this proposal was put forward.Factors InvolvedThree of the largest factors in the proposal have been listed already and have been for the proposal to go ahead. In the view of the sellafield nuclear plant, he reserve of water at ennerdale was vital for their safety and peace of mind of the surroundings areas and workers to act as a permanently operational backup of emergency water.
It is only as a back up that it is needed because sellafield already had their own lake which they used primarily in everyday industrial operations which was located at wastewater which had a depth of 76 meters.Albright and Wilson also needed the water for ennerdale lake which they used as a primary resource for the water in every day operations and without that they would be non operational in times where water wasn’t available in the lake by the water authority. North West water wanted to meet these demands in order to keep their customers satisfied and to provide them with the quantity of water needed on a daily basis.There was a lot more opposition to the proposal then support for it. One of the largest oppositions was from the natural trust. The national trust (NT) s a registered charity set up for the conservation and management of areas of outstanding beauty. The land surrounding the edge of the lake was owned by the NT and so if the proposal was to go ahead it would flood these areas.
Some areas around the lake edge was also owned by the forestry commission of great Britain were another opposing factor.In the debate the forestry commission is the government department responsible for the protection and expansion of Britain’s forests and woodlands. Flooding these areas would destroy footpaths in the area which were conserved and managed by the national ramblers association (RA).
The RA’s duties are to promote walking in the countryside, protecting rights of way, campaign for access to open country and defend the beauty of the country side. The answer given to the RA to get around this issue was to redirect footpaths.It seems quite logical but would mean maps becoming outdated in the areas and also a lot of planning and authorisation for the new permission for rights of way. It would go against the duties of the RA to let such a proposal go ahead since ennerdale in one of the most least spoilt valleys in the lake district. Linked in with the RA, the youth hostels association was also in opposition of the plans.
The youth hostels are dependant upon walkers in this part of the country since they are some of the most remote in England. They are extremely popular with coast to coast walkers of England and local climbers. If the landscape was changed by this new proposal then the hostels would loose customers and therefore money, due to the decreased number of walkers due to the impact of the flooding proposal.Other factors involved in the opposition of the proposition was from the national farmers union (NFU) who were in the same situation to that of the NT in that it would result in the loss of some farmers land around the lake edge. The NFU is the democratic organisation representing farmers and growers in England and Wales and so they had to step in for the farms as their union representative to protect their land. The land which was proposed to be flooded was areas of boulder clay which acts as better soils, some areas has a better pasture out due to the aspect if the sun and provided the farmers with hay in the winter period. This area of land is known as Inbye land and is vital to providing for the movement of sheep and cattle in the winter period. The south eastern side of the lake has land which is very important for the breeding of wildfowl.
Also a new access road would have to be built for the farmers to replace the existing one which was unwanted by the NT, the NFU and the RA. The copeland borough council are in charge of the ennerdale valley and surrounding areas and so speculated to whether the proposal should go ahead looking at the needs of local companies and residents and the preservation of the landscape of ennerdale valley. The council waned business to thrive in the area and so had to consider how to maintain their current level of success in the area.