Restoring the River Camel, Cornwall
The River Camel - including the Allen, De Lank, Ruthern and Clerkenwater tributaries - is a nationally and internationally important river, of particular value for its populations of otters, Atlantic salmon, bullhead, and sea lamprey.
One tributary, the De Lank River, is of particular importance as an outstanding example of an upland, acid river.
The Environment Agency and Natural England have been working for a number of years on a project to protect and restore the ecology of the river and its floodplains. This project will help return the River Camel Valley and Tributaries Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) to favourable ecological condition.
The River Camel
The nature conservation interest of the river is recognised nationally through its notification as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), and internationally through its designation as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC).
The SSSI is suffering due to a variety of factors including water pollution - from agricultural run-off and point-source discharges (primarily from sewage treatment works) - water abstraction, invasive species, particularly Himalayan balsam, and inappropriate weirs, dams and bank protection.
A number of actions are underway to remedy the pressures on the SSSI. For example, water quality problems are being addressed by phosphate removal at sewage treatment works and a Catchment Sensitive Farming project to reduce diffuse agricultural inputs. Natural England is also working with the Westcountry Rivers Trust to control Himalayan balsam. The physical modification of the river channel is now also being addressed, through the River Camel Restoration Strategy.
For more information about the River Camel restoration project please email: