GNF - Lake District

Lake District – Great Britain


Background Lake District

The Lake District National Park is located in the County of Cumbria, in the North West of England. Established as a National Park in 1951, it is England’s largest National Park, covering an area of 2,292 square kilometres. The Lake District is characterised by small village settlements, although there are three larger towns within the National Park: Keswick, Windermere and Ambleside.


Around 42,000 people live within the boundaries of the National Park. It possesses a unique combination of spectacular mountains, rugged fells, pastoral and wooded valleys and numerous lakes and tarns. Within the Lake District National Park 24 lakes and tarns are designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) by virtue of their aquatic interest. Some are additionally designated as Special Area of Conservation (SAC), National Nature Reserve (NNR) or RAMSAR site.

Climate Lake District

Precipitation is 3,500 millimetres in the wettest area, but precipitation is very variable across the region. The mean temperature is 15 °C in July and 3 °C in January.


Lakes Lake District

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.


Flora and Fauna Lake District

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).

Geology Lake District

The Lake District´s rocks provide a record of nearly 500 million years, with evidence of colliding continents, deep oceans, tropical seas and kilometre-thick ice sheets.


Land use Lake District

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 %).

The Lake District National Park is one of the 100 Greenest Holiday Destinations world-wide

Sustainable Destinations Global Top 100

 Bluebell wood (Photo: Di Jackson)
 Eurasian Red Squirrel (Photo: Val Corbett)

Threads Lake District

The National Park is extremely accessible. Many habitats and species remain threatened by the pressure for development and the sheer number of residents and visitors, approx. 16 million visitors a year taking more than 26 million visits. Other problems are intensive farming, aqua culture and non-native plants.

Lake District National Park Authority

The Lake District National Park Authority was established as a local authority. It employs 200 staff, of them 70 are involved in lake activities. Its mission is to conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Lake District National Park; help people understand and enjoy the special qualities of the Lake District and foster the social and economic wellbeing of the local community. The National Park Authority is the unitary Planning Authority for the National Park. The Park Authority is member and supporter of the Nurture Lakeland – a Lake District responsible tourism and conservation organisation. It has also established a Business Task Group to collaborate with the business community on economic development and other initiatives of mutual interest.


The Lake District National Park is member of the national network United Kingdom and Ireland Network.

 Tagpfauenauge (Foto: Michael Turner)

Further information about the Lake District National Park – Management Plan and Actions is available on the website of the Lake District National Park Authority.


The current Management Plan for the National Park you find in the following download data.



Partner organisation Lake District

Lake District National Park Authority

Liam McAleese

Head of Strategy and Partnerships

Murley Moss, Oxenholme Road

Kendal, Cumbria, UK LA9 7RL

Tel.: +44 - (0) 15 39 - 79 28 95

Fax: +44 - (0) 15 39 - 74 08 22



 Logo Lake District