Lake District

Area: 2292

Location: County of Cumbria, in the North West of England.

Conservation Categories:

- National Nature Reserve (NNR)

- Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)

- Special Area of Conservation (SAC)

- Ramsar Site

There are more than 80 lakes, tarns and reservoirs in the Lake District National Park, but there is only one official lake: Bassenthwaite Lake. All the others are “meres” or “waters”. With its maximum depth of 74 metres, Wastwater is the deepest lake. Windermere, with a surface of 14.8 sq. km, is the largest natural lake in England. The 14 main lakes cover together an area of 56.69 sq. km.


There are 155 recorded bird species including migratory species. The Lake District is unique in England for its abundant freshwater habitats such as mires, upland heath, lakeshore wetlands, estuary, coastal health and dunes.1,373 plant species have been recorded here. Some of them such as Mudwort (Limosella australis) and Slender Naiad (Najas flexilis) are in the red list of IUCN.

Three rare and endangered fish species live in the lakes: the Vendace (Coregonus vandesius) is only found in the Lake District, the Schelly (Coregonus lavaretus) and the Arctic Charr (Salvelinus alpinus).
The Lake District provides home to Eurasian Red Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris).


Around 48 % of land is grassland, heathland and moorland; 31 % is cultivated land, 12 % is woodland and forest and 2 % is developed land. Major employment sectors in the area are tourism, retailing, transport and catering (37.5 %); service (29.8 %); and agriculture, forestry and fishery (9.9 %).

Partner Organisation:

Murley Moss, Oxenholme Road

Kendal, Cumbria, UK LA9 7RL

Tel: +44 01539724555