Category Archives: UKILN Conference Papers

Summary of UK and Ireland Lakes Network Conference 2023

Urgency, Innovation and Collaboration for Lakes, Lochs & Wetlands

The Seven Lochs Partnership hosted the 2023 UK and Ireland Lakes Network Conference in Glasgow on 10th and 11th October.

Over two days delegates experienced a trio of thought provoking site visits in the Seven Lochs Wetland Park and Strathclyde Country Park, and received a series of papers which provided:

  • European context: climate change impacts on lakes and water systems,
  • progress with sustainable urban drainage retrofitting in Glasgow through the City Deal,
  • a range of examples of partnership and collaborative working and community engagement with lakes, and;
  • lightening talks on tools for lake management.

John Pinder, Chair of the UK and Ireland Lakes Network in summing up said

“The site visits and papers have reflected the theme of the conference ‘Urgency, Innovation and Collaboration’, and delegates have had the opportunity to make new and rekindle existing connections with others working on lakes. Many thanks to all those who supported, hosted and attend the conference for making it a success”.

Conference presentations:

The UK and Ireland Lakes Network Conference 2022

Lakes and their restoration – opportunities for nature recovery and people: Cheshire, June 22.

A multi-sector audience of environmental NGOs, practitioners, academics, researchers and statutory agencies gathered providing a great opportunity to learn and share experience on:

  • The role of lakes in the context of nature recovery networks, landscape and catchment scale restoration
  • Engagement of citizens in understanding lakes
  • How lake restoration is being delivered across England

Tony Juniper – Chair of Natural England opened the conference with a keynote paper describing his own fascination with lakes and making the case for wider collaboration to create a more sustainable future for lakes.

Conference presentations:

The second day was based around two field visits to internationally designated lakes in Cheshire, Hatchmere and Tatton Mere, to see and hear about issues affecting them, and discuss solutions implemented for their restoration. Including the introduction of beavers, restoring the hydrological regime, altering fish assemblages and improving water quality.

Feedback from the event:

“I am much more inspired to do stuff on lakes”

“It reinforced the importance of focusing on lakes as well as rivers”

“Meeting face to face – changed views”

“I liked the full day of talks, it made it easier to get funding to come”

“I got a big dollop of CPD out of it!”

“The best training I have had since joined organisation”

“The importance of networking is harder to quantify”

Event sponsors

Many thanks to Iolight and Aquatic solutions UK for supporting the event

Get in touch

If you would like to find out more about attending, or being involved in our next event please get in touch:

UK and Ireland Lakes Network Conference 2019 Papers

The UK and Ireland Lakes Network Conference – Lakes Protecting, Enhancing and Restoring was held in Westport, Ireland.

The conference papers are here:

Global Perspective on Lakes  Udo Gattenlöhner, Global Nature Fund

Lake Water Quality and the Water Framework Directive – Maths and Facts.  Dierdre Tierney, Environmental Protection Agency

Lough Forbes and challenges for safe drinking water.  Andrew Boylan, Irish Water

Odds and sods: Irish lakes and the Habitats Directive  Aine O Connor, National Parks and Wildlife

WFD and Fish in Lakes Monitoring – Methods, Trends and Climate change.  Fiona Kelly, Inland Fisheries Ireland

Lough Carra: past, present and future.  Chris Huxley and Tom Byrne, Lough Carra Catchment Association

The Local Authority Waters Programme–Lake Local Catchment Assessments in Action.  Bernadette White, Local Authorities Water Programme 

The Group Water Scheme sector in Ireland: An under-utilised resource for improving ecosystem services delivery?  Alec Rolston, Dundalk, institute of Technology

Cranes, drains and net carbon gains –working towards sustainable wetland management in the Broads National Park, UK, Dan Hoare, Broads Authority

Predicting in-lake responses to change using near real time models Tadhg Moore, PROGNOS PROJECT, DKIT

Remote sensing – a tool for lake assessment. Gary Free , Institute for Electromagnetic Sensing for the Environment

Assessing the potential of drones to take water samples and physicochemical data from open lakes. Conor Graham, Galway Mayo, Institute of Technology  

The Blue Dot Catchment Programme – preserving Irelands high status lakes. Cormac Mc Conigley, Local Authorities Water Programme

The Clones Lakes: How water quality decline is captured in charophyte lakes.
Mr Nick Stewart, Consultant 


On the second day conference delegates were treated to site visits to Loch Carra where this film was shared  and a tour of Burrishoole Research Station.


UK and Ireland Lakes Network Conference 2019 – Lakes Protecting, Enhancing and Restoring.

The 2019 UK and Ireland Lakes Network 2019 Conference “Lakes – Protecting, Enhancing and Restoring”  is about to commence in Westport, Ireland. The programme is available here:

UKILN Programme 2019

2019 UKILN Conference Poster

The keynote speech will be from Mr. Udo Gattenlöhner, from the Global Nature Fund and sessions cover monitoring and assessment, actions on the ground and research.

It is a great opportunity to network and keep up to date with lake issues and best practice

UKILN Conference 2019 – “Lakes Protecting, Enhancing and Restoring”

Draft 2019 UKILN Conference ProgrammeThis year the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA, Ireland) are hosting the United Kingdom and Ireland Lake Network (UKLIN) Conference on the 16th and 17th of October 2019 in Westport.

This year’s theme is “Lakes – protecting, enhancing, restoring”. The theme encompasses activities from monitoring to actions on the ground to protect, enhance and restore lakes. The thread running through the conference will be the Water Framework Directive (WFD), in a broad sense. The purpose of the conference is to show how everyone plays a role in bringing about good water quality and habitat conditions. It is to illustrate how our activities are linked and form building blocks. It is through working together that achieving good water quality is possible.

The proposed schedule is to have a day of presentations on the 16th of October followed by a fieldtrip to the Marine Institute Facility at Newport on Lough Feeagh and other lakes in the West on the 17th of October.

For more information, see the 2019 UKILN Conference Poster v2

And the full conference programme Draft 2019 UKILN Conference Programme

To register visit

UK and Ireland Lakes Network Conference 2017 – Papers

Our 2017 conference began with a tour of Linlithgow Loch and Palace with Historic Environment Scotland. Both are integral to the town itself, and brimming with opportunities for current adventures, and stories rich in culture and history. The loch itself was formed by a block of ice left behind by retreating glaciers at the end of the last ice age, and was chosen as the location of the palace in twelfth century. Over time land use surrounding the loch has changed, and now whilst still offering the community a fantastic 4km circuit for running, walking or pushing a buggy, and fishing, or a back drop to outdoor events it does suffer with algal blooms. A partnership group are investigating the main sources of nutrient and other pollutants, and raising awareness in the local community to reduce misuse of the drainage system with the ‘Only rain down the drain campaign’.


The tour of the loch and palace offered not only the opportunity to focus on this fascinating urban water, but also to develop new connections and re-establish those that have lapsed. The networking continued into the evening over a relaxed conference meal and in the company of after dinner speaker Dr Reverend Stuart Gillan.


The conference provided a diverse range of presentations which can be found below.


Exploring the values and management of our urban waters – past, present and future

Tuesday 25th April 2017


·         Nick Benge, Water Gems, UK approach to urban waterbody restoration.

·         Linda May, CEH, UK approach to urban waterbody restoration.

·         Callum McPhail, SEPA, Restoration of a large urban loch – Strathclyde Loch.

·         Chris Hassall, Leeds University, Treasure little things ecology management and creation of urban ponds.

·         Paul Wood, Loughborough University,  Restoration of urban streams and ponds.

·         Jo Girvan, River life, Restoration in an urban setting.

·         Brian Darcy, C&D Associates, Sustainable urban drainage in the protection and improvement of urban lochs.

·         Alan McCulloch, SEPA, The Water Environment Fund, SEPA and urban regeneration in the water environment.


The outputs of the workshop sessions will be published shortly.


With thanks to SEPA, West Lothian Council and Historic Environment Scotland for hosting the conference.

UKILN Conference Programme 2017

Conference registration now open – click here

Our 2017 conference in Linlithgow, Scotland is sponsored by Scottish Environment Protection Agency, with Historic Environment Scotland and West Lothian Council.

Monday 24th April 

Field visit and networking around Linlithgow Loch

13.00    Tour of the Loch  Meet, Linlithgow Palace. –  local experts will take small groups around the loch, discussions will include links between the loch and community values, cultural heritage and future challenges. **( weather forecast showery so bring appropriate clothing and footwear.)

15.30    Linlithgow Palace – a unique opportunity to learn about this historic and iconic Scottish palace, hosted by Historic Environment Scotland.

17.00   Return to Linlithgow Town Centre

19.30   Pre- Conference Dinner Reception

20.00   Conference Dinner at West Port Hotel, Linlithgow
21.00 After dinner. Dr. the Rev. Stewart Gillan, St Michael’s Parish Linlithgow. “Swan Loch” (lake)


Tuesday 25th April 

UKILN Conference 2017: Exploring the values and management of our urban waters – past, present and future

09.30   Registration with refreshments at Linlithgow Burgh Halls, North Hall

10.00   Welcome to UK and Ireland Lakes Network and Linlithgow – Gerry Darby, Lough Neagh Partnership and Chair of UKILN.

10.20  Nick Benge – WaterGems  “Practical aspects of urban waterbody regeneration.”

10.50  Linda May/Bryan Spears – CEH Edinburgh “UK approaches to urban waterbody restoration.”

11.20    Callum McPhail – SEPA  “Restoration of a large urban loch, Strathclyde Loch.”

11.50    Chris Hassall – Leeds University  “Treasure the little things: ecology, management  and creation of urban ponds.”

 12.20   Facilitated Networking

 13.00     LUNCH

 13.45    Paul Wood – Loughborough University. “Restoration of urban streams and ponds”      

 14.15    Jo Girvan River Life. “ Restoration in an urban setting.”

14.45     Brian D’Arcy – C & D Associates “Sustainable Urban Drainage in the protection and improvement of urban lochs.”

15.15     Alan McCulloch – SEPA  “The Water Environment Fund, SEPA and urban regeneration in the water environment.                                                                                                                           

15.45   Round Up and Final discussion

15.50  Conference Conclusion and Depart


UKILN 2017 Conference Linlithgow Loch: Exploring the values and management of our urban waters – past, present and future

 Registration Closed

Linlithgow Loch

Linlithgow Loch

Our 2017 conference in Linlithgow, Scotland, sponsored by Scottish Environment Protection Agency, with Historic Environment Scotland and West Lothian Council, will explore the value and sustainable management of urban lochs, lakes, loughs, tarns and llyns – past, present and future.

Full Conference Programme – Available Here

Monday April 24th – the first day of our two day conference will start with an afternoon walk around Linlithgow Loch and visit to Linlithgow Palace lead by Historic Environment Scotland.

In the evening join us for the conference meal, and enjoy the local invited speaker.

Tuesday April 25th – our second day will focus on an eclectic mix of presentations and discussion focusing on the key issues surrounding urban waters.

UKILN conferences are designed to attract a wide range of people and organisations passionate about protection of the benefits and values these waters give us.

Opportunities to meet and network with fellow delegates is a key value of the event.

Click here for a list of Linlithgow Accommodation. Alternative budget options can be found a little further away.

Sustainable Lake Watershed Management UKILN 2016 Conference Summary and Papers

Our 2016 conference returned to the Lake District where the whole idea of a Lakes Network came about back in 2009.

This year the focus was on sustainable lake watershed management.


Held in Penrith and the northern part of the Lake District, our UK delegates and international speakers were privy to opening remarks from Richard Leafe (Chief Executive of the Lake District National Park) who outlined the vision for the Park and the challenges and opportunities of operating post Storm Desmond.

Our speakers again drew strongly on initiatives that had been implemented not only across the UK and Ireland but wider within Europe where the issues were often the same but different systems and administrations led to different ideas about how we can progress catchment protection. What became clear was that Government bodies, academia, NGOs, private companies and charitable trusts, (plus others) all have the opportunity to play to their strengths and contribute to a lake protection and restoration. We seem to be finally moving on from the hierarchical approach which prevailed some years ago.

Miguel Fereirra, Governo dos Açores, Ambiente parques Açores dsc_0120 dsc_0131





Equally important to the eclectic mix of excellent presentation we received, was the networking opportunities that our annual conference always promotes. We tried quite hard to ensure that discussion could take place around the presentations and poster sessions on day one, the conference diner and during the relaxed (and sunny) field excursion on day 2, where we met practitioners who reinforced many of the messages conveyed on day 1. Whilst focussing on many different areas of lake interest all those we met had a very clear and common understanding of their role and its importance.

Networking day 1


Our field visit took the group to Thirlmere Reservoir and then around the Bassenthwaite Lake area where the rare white fish the vendace was thought to have become extinct but now believed to be still present and perhaps even recovering. Certainly the whole watershed actions there have significantly improved the environmental conditions for their continued survival.



Each conference always offers something new, and for me the presentation from the Forestry Commission’s Osprey Project Officer spelt out just how important quality communications were. Her message was towards engaging the general public by means of stories, not presenting them with hard science. That comes a little later.



UKILN would like to thank United Utilities for sponsoring the 2016 conference, for the poster papers outlining their very proactive work on lake restoration and the pioneering work explained on whole watershed management by their Thirlmere Estate Manager.

Thirlmere Reservoir with United Utilities 2016

We have already got the framework in place and next year’s conference in Scotland. This will be at Linlithgow where the focus will be on Urban Lakes.

 We look forward to even more of our members and guests joining us in West Lothian on the 25th April 2017.

John Pinder


UKILN Conference Programme 2016

Implementing the European Landscape Convention in lake catchment restoration projects- An Azorean Case study, Miguel Fereirra, Governo dos Açores, Ambiente parques Açores.

The restoration of common reed on Windermere and Esthwaite’s shores. Mike Sturt, South Cumbria Rivers Trust

Sustainable land management within the Lake District, Andrew Fox, Lowther Estates

Living Lakes in Germany – Projects, Politics and Pamphlets, Thomas Schaefer, Global Nature Fund, Germany

The Broads – An Overview of Lake and Catchment Management, Andrea Kelly, Norfolk Broads Authority

Lough Neagh: Past & future ownership and their management issues. Gerry Darby

Lough Neagh: River to Lough Festival, Partnership and Collaboration. Eimear Kearney

UKILN 2013 Annual Conference – Dublin

WFD Perspective on Irish Lakes – Damian Allen

WFD Perspective of Wicklow Lakes – Gary Free

Padraig Doyle, Dublin City Council
Dublin Water Supply in the context of lakes used, history, management, challenges and the future
David Sexton, Electricity Supply Board
Lakes and Power Generation
Michael Gibbon, Walk West
Some perspectives on Crannogs and Island Cashels in Ireland West
Martin O’Grady, Inland Fisheries Ireland
Genetics of trout stocks in some Irish Catchments.  The Management Implications
Kevin Doran, Dublin Diocese
Lakes & Spiritual Values
Bernie O’Flaherty, Monaghan Council
Lakes and their catchments – Restoring water quality
Wendy Craig, NIEA
Corbet Lough Restoration Programme
Cormac McCarthy, Waterways Ireland
Use and Management of Lakes for Tourism and Navigation
Greta Link, Global Nature Fund (Living Lakes Network)

Lake Management- A global issue resolved through local stewardship