Loweswater's wildlife

Rowing boat surrounded by blue-green algae bloom Loweswater, Cumbria

The shallow bays of Loweswater are home to coots, tufted duck, mallard and winter visiting ducks such as goldeneye and pochard. Great crested grebes nest in the fringing reed which is also habitat for the rare (and very tiny) Liljeborg's whorl-snail.

So why is it green?

Sadly, the fact that people have lived and worked in the valley for centuries has created problems for the lake. The lake currently suffers from artificially high levels of plant nutrients dissolved in the water, which accumulate in the lake bed. These nutrients cause naturally occurring algae to stimulate unnaturally frequent algal 'blooms', when this happens, the lake looks like it's turned to pea soup! Most obvious are blooms of blue-green algae which can be toxic for livestock, dogs and people if you come into contact with it. The ecology of the lake has been badly affected by nutrient enrichment as the algal blooms reduce the level of oxygen in the water. This has led to the decline of a once-notable trout population.

What are we doing about it?

We are keen to see the water quality issues resolved, though we recognise that this will take many years, if not decades. We are working with the Loweswater Care Partnership, a community led initiative with the objective to restore the ecological quality of the lake.

If you fancy an accessible lakeside walk

The woodland paths around Loweswater have recently been upgraded to be accessible for all - perfect for a family stroll, or a low-level walk on a day when the cloud's low.