Biodiversity action in the Lake District

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Lowland breeding wader project

This project, in partnership with RSPB and Natural England, is working with farmers to improve the habitat for wading birds in the lowland areas of the National Park. The project began in 2008 covering a 70ha area and has a particular focus on:

  • curlew
  • lapwing
  • redshank
  • snipe

The techniques used to create better habitat for these wader birds include:

  • creating wet scrapes
  • managing water levels in ditches
  • adjusting the cutting time of meadows

Results

It's too early to tell if populations of breeding waders have increased on project sites. However work will continue via the RSPB's Morecambe Bay Futurescapes project which will monitor the changing fortunes of these birds.

www.rspb.org.uk/futurescapes

www.cumbriabirdclub.org.uk

Tackling alien species

The Lake District National Park is involved in a variety of projects designed to control or eradicate alien species such as:

  • Himalayan balsam
  • Japanese knotweed
  • skunk cabbage

The Bassenthwaite Reflections project, which has been going for 12 years, includes work on tackling alien species over the lake's 350sq km catchment area. Work has intensified on tackling alien species in the last four years resulting in:

  • a massive reduction in himalayn balsam, Japanses knotweed and skunk cabbage
  • almost total eradication of these in a several areas around the lake
  • work is ongoing in the lake's catchment area - a multi-agency team set up five years ago is leading the project

Restoring peat bogs promotes biodiversity

Staff at the Lake District National Park have been involved in blocking grips (open moorland ditches) to restore blanket peat bogs - which, in turn, helps promote biodiversity.

Several rare or threatened species are associated with Lake District peat bogs including:

  1. golden plover
  2. black grouse
  3. lapwing
  4. large heath
  5. cranefly
  6. narrow-bordered
  7. hawk-moth
  8. argent and sable
  9. sword grass moth
  10. yellow marsh
  11. saxifrage