All text and images © ullswater.co.uk 2021
Following a month of heavy rainfall, the full force of Storm Desmond hit Glenridding on the afternoon of Saturday 5th December 2015. Frantic efforts to protect homes and businesses proved fruitless as the full devastating impact of the storm hit. Glenridding beck burst its banks in the village in the early evening and the next morning was flowing freely down Eagle lane, across the car park, and right through the Glenridding Hotel, bringing with it thousands of tonnes of silt, gravel and stone, carried down the fells from landslips all the way up to Helvellyn. The village was now cut off – the lake road was impassable, and the road between Glenridding and Patterdale was underwater for three days.
It wasn’t just Glenridding that was ravaged by Storm Desmond. Pooley Bridge collapsed on Sunday, and many homes were flooded. In Patterdale, Grisedale Bridge burst its banks, causing landslips up the valley, ripping up the road outside Patterdale Hall and flooding all the properties at Grisedale Bridge. Goldrill Bridge was underwater and landslips on Place Fell narrowly avoided crushing houses, instead leaving a trail of mud, debris and stone on the roads to Rookins. Further up the Dale there was a landslide at Noran Bank which blocked the main road, the beck bank was washed out at Lanefoot in Deepdale and in Hartsop the road was again under water by Cow Bridge, with devastation to the walls and fields from Kirkstone down.
The Parish was effectively cut off for three days, with no phone lines, intermittent power, and no mains water. The community rallied together and aided by the heroic efforts of local contractors from Beckside Construction and O’Malleys, set about clearing out the becks, and cleaning up the properties and businesses which had been inundated. Over 20,000 tonnes of gravel and stone was removed from Glenridding Beck just from the village hall to the lakeshore. This was dropped on Jenkins Field. Despite further setbacks, including another significant flood on the evening of Wednesday 9th December, the recovery continued throughout December, into January and is still ongoing. For the latest information please click the Flood Recovery Update link to the right.
Flood Timeline - The First 7 Days
Work has continued since Day 1 to complete the recovery work. In addition to the obvious problems in the villages and on the roads, miles of footpaths were also affected, with bridges and paths washed away by flood water and land slides.
As a community we are working with the Lake District National Park, Environment Agency, National Trust and Natural England to both repair the damage and also ensure that we are not as badly affected by any future “events”.
To see how you can help with this recovery please click the “support the recovery” link above.