Wildlife of the Lakes 

 Lake wildlife in the Lake District National Park


Curiously, perhaps, the purer a lake is, the poorer it is in plant and animal life. So the clear and remote lakes such as Wast Water have less to interest the amateur naturalists than shallow and murky but mineral-rich lake such as Esthwaite Water. In the poorest lakes, for instance, plant life consists mainly of algae and primitive quillwort, whereas the more silty lakes will add bulrushes, various pondweeds, and sometimes water lilies in sheltered bays. One popular highlight is the water lobelia, flowering in  fine lilac profusion in midsummer.

In the animal food chain, lowly links include the freshwater shrimp, tiny leeches and flatworms and mayfly larvae. Of the lake fish minnows and stickleback are widespread and three related game fish too -  salmon and sea trout and the char. The richer lakes support eels, perch & pike as well. Two other coarse fish, roach and rudd were probably introduced by anglers. There are two famous rarities now protected species - the schelly, found in Ullswater and Haweswater, and the vendace, formerly unique to Derwent Water and Bassenthwaite Lake, though now introduced into Scotland.