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SPEC11 Windermere

SPEC11 Windermere
Windermere: Restoring the Health of England’s Largest Lake
Author: A.D. Pickering
Published By: FBA on behalf of the The Lake District Still Waters Partnership, 2001
Format: Softcover, 246 x 171 mm, 126 pages, with 75 colour & black-and-white illustrations.
ISBN: 978-0900386-68-8

This book provides a summarised account of the history and natural history of Windermere - the largest natural lake in England - including the decline in the health of the lake ecosystem in the second half of the 20th century and the subsequent efforts to restore it. Written in language that is accessible to the less technically-minded as well as to scientists and students of lakes and their catchments, the book will appeal to anyone who has an interest in lakes or the English Lake District.

In his account, the author Alan Pickering starts by providing a background to Windermere, introducing the reader to the lake's geography, geology and historical development. As with all of the lakes in the English Lake District, and most of the UK, Windermere was formed at the end of the last glaciation. Major changes in its catchment induced by the changing climate and then by man's removal of the forests have been recognised through examination of lake sediments. The book concentrates on one of the most dramatic changes in the second half of the 20th century – the decline in the health of the lake ecosystem. The main cause of this was the increased nutrient load from local sewage treatment works. As the ecological balance of the lake was threatened, the collaborative efforts of scientists and environmental managers restored the lake to one with thriving populations of fish and other aquatic fauna and flora. As one of the scientists involved in this work, Professor Pickering gives a very clear account of all of these changes and some thoughts on issues surrounding the lake's future management.

This book was published to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Lake District National Park (LDNP). The LDNP Authority and other organisations in the 'Still Waters Partnership' are jointly responsible for overseeing and managing Windermere. They have to balance a wide variety of view-points and sometimes conflicting requirements against the natural ‘needs' of Windermere itself, with the aim of maintaining the lake in an ecologically healthy state for public use and enjoyment now and in the future.