photo by stubramley
The Lake District national park is home to an abundance of wildlife, some of which is unique within England. The red squirrel and the sundew, one of the only meat eating plants native to Britain are just two examples. The only pair of Golden Eagles nesting in England are to be seen in the area. Unfortunately, the female Eagle has been missing since summer 2004 though the male remains.
The many lakes, which give the region it’s name, contain 3 rare and endangered types of fish: the schelly lives in Haweswater, Brothers Water Ullswater, and Red Tarn, the vendace lives only in Derwent Water and Bassenthwaite Lake and the arctic char, lives in Coniston Water, Buttermere, Crummock Water, Haweswater, Ennerdale WaterThirlmere, Wast water, , Loweswater, and Windermere.
Recently, important modifications were made to the fishing laws which cover the north western area of England, this is designed to help preserve the rarest species of fish. The Environment Agency introduced a new fishing law, stopping the use of protected fish as bait in fourteen of lakes in the national park. Fishermen who refuse to comply with the laws face fines of maximum £2500. The new law was put into use during July 2002.
14 Lake District lakes are affected:, Brothers Water, Bassenthwaite Lake Coniston Water, Buttermere, Derwent Water, Crummock Water, Haweswater, Ennerdale Water, Red Tarn, Loweswater, Ullswater, Thirlmere, Windermere and Wast Water.
The lakes do not support as many types of fish compared with similar environments in the south of England and around Europe. Some of the fish that do thrive are at risk as deliberate or accidental introduction of different fish types can play havoc with the food chain and put the native fish at risk.
There is a risk of new diseases being introduced, this can threaten native populations even further. Sometimes, the introduced fish can upset the habitat so much so particular fish cannot survive. Ruffe has caused a problem in the Lakes already. The Ruffe is a non native fish which been put into several lakes over recent times. The Ruffe eats the eggs of the native vendace, who are particularly weak as they have a long period of incubation. Because of this they are at risk from predators for as long as 120 days per year. Other fish eggs, for example those of the roach, are at risk for only three days.