Coalburn2020 is an exciting research experiment considering the effect of forests on river flows. The plan is predict NOW the effect that the current tree felling in the Coalburn catchment will have on FUTURE annual river discharge and peak flows. More details are in the Research Plan.


Catchment Description:

  • Coalburn is the UK's longest running forest research catchment.
  • Coalburn is a 1.5 sq. km catchment.
  • The catchment was instrumented in 1967
  • In 1972/73 the catchment was ploughed and planted with a conifer forest.
  • The trees are now mature and around 30% of the catchment is currently being felled.

The catchment is located in the very north of England, close to the Scottish border. Iti s part of the Kielder forest. Coalburn is a sub-catchment of the Irthing which flows into the Eden near Carlisle.



A OS map of the catcment (Crown Copyright/database right 2014. An Ordnance Survey/EDINA supplied service) and an aerial photograph (copyright Google, Infoterra Ltd and Bluesky) can be seen below.

 OS map of coalburn catchmentCoalburn aerial view


The recent and current felling of the Coalburn catchment is shown below


2015 and 2016 felling of coalburn catchment