Restoration of Hoff and Helm beck on the River Eden
The Tufton Arms is working together with the Tourism & Conservation Partnership and The Eden Rivers Trust to help look after Hoff and Helm Becks. Hoff and Helm Becks are tributaries of the River Eden. The becks provide a home to a diverse community of animals. Most notable is the white-clawed crayfish, now seriously threatened within the UK. River and brook lamprey, Atlantic salmon, otter, bullhead and water crowfoot can also all be found and for these the becks are designated a Special Area of Conservation and Sites of Special Scientific Interest.
Donations to this project will ensure that specific actions, such as fencing, erosion control, fish passes and tree management, are made possible to restore the habitat provided by the rivers, allowing endangered animals to prosper.
The Hoff and Helm Becks feed into the River Eden, flowing through the limestone pavement, purple moor and herb grasslands of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. These becks are home to the rare white clawed crayfish, bullhead, lamprey, brown trout and Atlantic salmon, along with a multitude of tiny invertebrates,kingfishers, sand martins and herons. Because of this, both becks are designated Sites of Special Scientific Interest.
However, the Hoff and Helm are two of the most damaged becks in the Eden Valley. With increases in numbers of cattle, land drainage and the use of fertilisers, the streams have been severely affected - the water quality is very poor, erosion has damaged the river banks, and the beds of the streams have silted up. This has serious implications for animals like the white clawed crayfish. This species is globally threatened, and the Eden valley remains one of its last strongholds in the UK. White clawed crayfish love hiding places: boulders, tree roots and woody debris. Natural cover is now so bad in parts of these becks that brown trout and crayfish are sheltering under rubbish that people have thrown in. Vital work is needed now, to save these creatures.