Looking after the Lakes during the heatwave

Thorneythwaite valley with Thorneythwaite feel on the left, Borrowdale

The sun is shining and the lakes are glistening — the perfect time of year for picnics, strolls and lazy days by the water. During the hot weather we're taking extra care to look after the Lake District. Here's what we're doing and how you can help.

Preventing fires

During a heatwave it's much easier for fires to spread. This is why we've put a temporary ban on barbecues at Fell Foot, on the southern shores of Windermere.

We're also asking walkers and campers to be extra careful. Here are some top tips on preventing fires in the countryside:

  • Dispose of smoking materials in a litter bin, making sure they're completely extinguished
  • Don’t leave camp fires or barbecues unattended and extinguish them properly after use
  • Clear away bottles, glasses and any broken glass so that they don't magnify the sun’s rays and start a fire
  • Explain to children the dangers of playing with lighted fires.

If fire breaks out, call the fire and rescue service immediately on 999 or 112. When specifying your location, mention any landmarks – perhaps a church or pub – and if phoning from a phone box, stay nearby so you can direct the fire appliances to the scene.

Don’t attempt to fight the fire yourself unless it is very small – grass and crop fires can travel very quickly.

Supplying water to people living in the Lakes

Around 40% of homes and businesses in the Lake District get their water from a private water supply, so we're working closely with our campsites, holiday homes, tenants and farmers to make sure they've got the water the need during the hot weather.

Emergency water extractions

During hot weather and droughts, making sure people living in the UK have access to clean drinking water can become an urgent and important issue. Sometimes water companies need to do emergency extractions of water, including from some of the lakes we look after, which are designated as reservoirs.

 

We always work closely with water companies, environmental organisations and the Environment Agency to make sure that everything is done to protect natural life and habitats during water extractions, including monitoring fish, monitoring water levels and organising fish rescues if needed. The most important thing is making sure people are safe and healthy during the heatwave so we’ll always help where we can.

 

Blue-green algae

Ullswater, Coniston and Windermere are affected by blue-green algae. You can stay safe by avoiding swimming or letting your dog into water where the algae is visible. This government article has more information on blue-green algae and how to stay safe while you're out and about in the Lake District.

Lake Windermere, Cumbria
    A view across Lake Windermere towards fells in the Lake District, Cumbria
Lake Windermere, Cumbria