West Cumbria Rivers Trust
Keswick Convention Centre, Skiddaw Street, Keswick, Cumbria. CA12 4BY
West Cumbria Rivers Trust strives to restore and enhance the value of rivers, lakes, estuaries and surrounding countryside throughout West Cumbria for the benefit of people and wildlife.
Many thanks to Caroline and David Marsden for facilitating this camera's location. The River Irt flows from the south-western end of Wast Water, the deepest lake in England, leaving the lake at the foot of Whin Rigg, the southern peak of the famous Wastwater Screes. On its short journey to the coast, the Irt is crossed by the Cumbria Coastal Way long distance footpath, at Drigg Holme packhorse bridge. The Irt flows through the Drigg Dunes and Irt Estuary Nature Reserve before joining the River Esk and River Mite at Ravenglass. In the 19th century the River Irt was famous for the extremely rare black pearls that grew in its freshwater mussels. Poaching of the pearls is thought to have led to the mussels becoming extinct in the River Irt. During World War II, Holmrook Hall was requisitioned by the Admiralty on behalf of the Royal Navy, with locals told that it was a rest home for shipwrecked and distressed sailors. In actually fact, strategically located between ROF Drigg and ROF Sellafield, it was the Royal Navy bomb and munitions training school between 1943 and 1946, under the title HMS Volcano. Defined as a Top Secret site, it trained both Royal Navy personnel, the Special Boat Service and Norwegian expatriates in the war time use of explosives and demolition.