Project Background

Welcome to the Haltwhistle Burn 'Community Based Catchment Management' research project...

Newcastle University (School of Engineering and Geosciences) is working in partnership with the Tyne Rivers Trust (TRT) on a PhD project focused on Haltwhistle Burn with funding from the Catchment Restoration Fund project (CRF036) and Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

A ‘total catchment’ approach is proposed to improve fish populations, water quality, hydromorphology and also reduce flood risk. Key objectives include establishing priorities within the Haltwhistle Burn Catchment, engaging with the local community, monitoring, modelling and using established intervention (natural runoff management) techniques which will assist with managing runoff. In turn this will lead towards the development of a Catchment Management Plan for Haltwhistle Burn.

The PhD project will use natural runoff management techniques piloted at Nafferton Farm (Stocksfield) and also best practice established during the Belford Burn 'Proactive' Project. Previous research has concluded that evidence of impact of such intervention techniques can be difficult and expensive to obtain, especially in a small rural catchment. This research study therefore aims to investigate monitoring and modelling tools and methods that will enable local communities to participate in knowledge regeneration, extending the available information beyond traditional methods. It is anticipated that experience gained during the Haltwhistle Burn project will be transferred to other catchments within the UK.

Newcastle University held the first meeting with Haltwhistle Community on 3rd October 2013. The purpose of the meeting was to introduce Newcastle University and the PhD student (Eleanor Starkey), and to begin to collate any historical information which the community has and any catchment issues they are aware of. This information has helped to characterise the Haltwhistle Burn catchment and enabled the project to identify key areas which are in need of prioritisation and management.

If you would like to find out more about the project or have historical flood and catchment information to share, please contact Eleanor Starkey ( You can also follow the Haltwhistle Burn project on twitter:

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