Wetlands, lakes and rivers

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River Dart, Dartmoor National Park

River Dart - Dartmoor

River Barle, Exmoor National Park

A wide river with grassy tree lined banks

Oulton Broad, Broads National Park

A misty red sunrise over Oulton Broad

Loch Achray - Loch Lomond and Trossachs

Loch Achray - Loch Lomond and Trossachs

Aerial view of the Broads National Park

Aerial view of the Broads

There are several different freshwater habitats in UK National Parks; from tinkling mountain streams to large lazy rivers, from tiny tarns in the Lake District, to the largest lake in Britain – Loch Lomond.

Our freshwater habitats are home to a wide range of biodiversity

Water lilies and reeds grow in the water, salmon and trout swim in the rivers and dragonflies fly over the lakes. Otters and water voles make homes in the riverbanks, and our native kingfishers and dippers are joined by dozens of migrant birds who stop over on the wetlands.

How we do we help look after our freshwater habitats?

We "zap" the fish, we use huge machines to dig up the bottom of lakes, we cut down plants, we fence in cattle and sheep, and we help make sure that fishermen catch plenty of salmon. Find out more about some of the surprising ways we work to keep our freshwater teeming with life.

Wetlands – We’re zapping fish and digging up the mud to restore clean water to the Broads, England’s largest and most important wetland.

Lakes –  We’re working on the land all around Bassenthwaite, in the Lake District, to improve the water in the lake, and make it a suitable home for the king of fishermen: the osprey.

Rivers – Local fishermen and volunteers are helping us keep salmon in the water and water voles on the banks of rivers in Northumberland.