River Ehen

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The Sellafield facility on the Cumbrian coast, with the River Ehen visible both parallel to the sea (top, right) and flowing into the sea (top, centre)

The River Ehen is a river in Cumbria, England. It was designated a Special Area of Conservation in 2005.[1][2]

The river's source is at the west end of Ennerdale Water: it runs west through Ennerdale Bridge where it is joined by Croasdale Beck (flowing from Banna Fell). Ennerdale Water itself is fed by the River Liza.

The Ehen continues past Cleator Moor and Cleator, where it is fed by the River Keekle, moving southwards through Egremont and eventually running parallel to the Irish Sea which it eventually joins at Sellafield at the same point as the River Calder.

The River Ehen supports the largest freshwater pearl mussel population in England.[3] It is also a breeding ground for Atlantic salmon.[4] As a result there is widespread poaching along the length of the river.[5]

Sellafield has previously used water from the River Ehen for cooling on the site, but ceased this operation in the 1990s. As at 2013 Ennerdale continues to be an important source of water for United Utilities.[6]


  1. ^ "River Ehen". West Cumbria Rivers Trust. Retrieved 2013-10-27. 
  2. ^ < "Natura 2000 Standard Data Form". Jncc.defra.gov.uk. Retrieved 2013-10-27. 
  3. ^ "River Ehen - Special Area of Conservation - SAC - Habitats Directive". Jncc.gov.uk. 2010-03-25. Retrieved 2012-07-15. 
  4. ^ "Vertebrate species: fish". Jncc.gov.uk. Retrieved 2013-10-27. 
  5. ^ "River Ehen Poaching Prosecution". Anglersnet.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-07-15. 
  6. ^ Robinson, Sarah. "Plans made to stop using Ennerdale". The Whitehaven News. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 

Coordinates: 54°26′N 3°31′W / 54.433°N 3.517°W / 54.433; -3.517

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