Brennand and Whitendale catchment

The River Hodder is joined at Dunsop Bridge by the River Dunsop.  This area of the Hodder catchment can be divided into a separate sub-catchment; the Brennand and Whitendale catchments.  The River Dunsop begins at the confluence of the Brennand River and the Whitendale River, both of which rise high up in the surrounding moorlands.  The main issue affecting the Brennand and Whitendale catchment relates to the abstraction of water to provide potable water for neighbouring villages and towns, including Blackburn.  A large number of public water supply licences in this area has placed a high demand for water provided by the sub-catchment.  Not only have water levels been significantly reduced in this part of the river system, abstraction has also had an adverse affect on the amount of aquatic habitat available.  Man-made infrastructure supporting water abstraction, including the construction of mini-dams has served to disrupt the natural flow.  The river has also been re-cut in parts following significant flooding.