Lakes – Cherished yet forgotten?

Organisation: Natural England

Type: Case Studies & Projects

Raising awareness and opportunities for restoration - briefing note

Lakes, both naturally formed and human-made, are important priority habitats.  They provide vital benefits for wildlife and people, along with a wide range of ecosystem services, and often have great cultural significance in our landscapes.

Despite this importance, and some protection within legislation, lakes are mostly in a very degraded condition and have generally not featured prominently within catchment or River Basin plans.

However, there are positive and achievable actions at different scales that can be taken, to both raise their profile within catchment planning, and improve the condition of lakes and their catchments. For example, by:

  • Including lakes and potential restoration activity in catchment plans and RBMP3 catchment pages
  • Taking action on-the-ground to improve water quality directly, or through advice, to reduce sediment and nutrient inputs
  • Restoring hydrology and natural function of inflows and outflows; natural mixed-fish communities; and lake margin and riparian vegetation
  • Actively recording lake restoration priorities, and lakes with high natural function to the priority habitats web portal

This briefing note summarises the situation and contains ideas, case studies, contacts and links to further information, to help start or support restoration of some of our most cherished yet threatened freshwater habitats.

TITLE IMAGE: Aqualate Mere, Ramsar Site and NNR Staffordshire (Copyright Natural England/Mel Brown)

This report was released in December 2020

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