Windermere Lakes Environmental Issues

Windermere Lakes Environmental Issues

Environmental Concerns

Windermere, among other famous lakes in England, have been faced with various environmental concerns, both originating from within, and from external forces. Pollution is perhaps the biggest concern that is facing conventional lakes, eroding the unique stature and aesthetic appeal that goes well with tourists. Lake District, for instance, has inspired many poets who have gone further to create anecdotes that function as tourist attraction to the site. Windermere Lake is among some of the lakes in England that have been earmarked for supervision on issues regarding pollution, environmental impacts of activities carried out in it, as well as possible future plans to curb such deficiencies (Hargan, 2008).

As earlier mentioned, Lake Windermere suffers from pollution originating from farm fertilizers and pesticides. Since the introduction of conventional farming methods, this lake, as well as other large water bodies, has been subject to undetected interference from farm fertilizers and pesticides, which are washed into them by floods. Some farmers do direct farm effluents to the lake as a disposal site. The impact of such activities is unalienable in the lives of both animals and aquatic plants. For instance, some fertilizers have been found to promote the growth of water hyacinth, which suffocates aquatic organisms like fish, and erode the lake of its aesthetic appeal (Elliott, 2012). In addition, pesticides are directly dangerous to any form of aquatic life, including plants and animals. Over the past few years, there has been a marked decrease in farming activities on the lake, as well as tourist visits, as many parts have been rendered impassible.

The New Zealand Pigmy weed that was imported in 1911 has been a constant environmental threat to the lake (Rhodes, Porter & Pickup, 2012). It reduces the rate of air circulation inside the water, thus choking other wildlife in the lake. In extension, the weed makes the lake undesirable for tourist attraction, and degrades the water quality. The lake is also threatened with flooding and drought as a result to the rapid climatic turnaround. Currently, there are numerous rivers that open their banks into Lake Windermere, and more often than not, the lake’s water holding capacity is inadequate for such an upsurge (Rhodes, Porter & Pickup, 2012). Factors such as global warming have largely contributed to unpredictable and non-uniform distribution of rain throughout the year; therefore, heavy rainfalls have proven to be detrimental to most admired water bodies.

Apart from external environmental concerns, activities within Lake Windermere itself are posing a threat to the surrounding areas. Remarkably, boats on the shore of the lake cause Coastal erosion, which results into phenomena like sediment turbulence and longshore drift (Pyne, 1998). These cause clouding and general pollution, subsequently disturbing the habitats inside and around the lake. The lake has also experienced in fishing, where people over-utilize the capacity of the lake, thereby depleting the young and developing fish within it. Due to this, the amount of fish in the lake has noticeably gone down, and in the process reducing the vibrancy and profitability of the lake. Moreover, there is an imbalance in the food chain within the lake as well as those who depend on the lake, which exerts various long-term effects on the inhabitants. Lastly, sewage flows into the lake have been cited as additional potential threats to the lake, which result not only in increased bacterial contamination, but also in increased algal growth at the nearshore (McGowan et al., 2012). Generally, these factors impact negatively on the water quality of the lake, which had been earlier designated for drinking without undergoing any chemical treatment; irrigation; and for fishing activities.

Suggested Solutions

In a bid to curb the above mentioned deficiencies and anomalies, one particular step that must be taken is the institution and enactment of appropriate policies to regulate the use of pesticides and fertilizers, especially on farms along the lake. Fertilizers that promote the growth of weeds such as water hyacinth and the New Zealand Pigmy Weed should be avoided in areas that are in close proximity to the lake. Similarly, pesticides that endanger aquatic lives should either be completely discouraged, or judiciously applied to avoid extended effects on the lake.

As a short-term measure, the relevant government authority, such as the England Environmental Agency, should come up with plausible and practical solutions on how to remove the growing weeds from the lake, so as to restore its aesthetic appeal, and save other aquatic lives like fish. With regards to overfishing, it should be noted that this is a cumulative problem that is contingent on many factors such as pollution by industry and farm effluents, emptying of sewers into the lake, and encouraging the growth of weeds which suffocate aquatic organisms (Winfield, James & Fletcher, 2008). Thus, a holistic approach should be adopted to ensure that the productivity and safety of aquatic life in the life is restored and maintained (Natalia & Hans, 2010). Additionally, the relevant agency could introduce fishing bans during some specific periods of the year, to give time for the young fish to develop and multiply.

Numerous human activities have been identified to pose threats to the viability of Windermere Lake, therefore, various control measure have to be constituted to regulate them so as to reduce the rate of pollution and degradation within and around the lake. For instance, it would be plausible to impose a year-round ban on the operation of all power-driven vessels in specific parts of the lake (Ioannis, Jian, Huihua & Caterina, 2011); and a year-round prohibition on persons towing on surfboards, water skies or nay other equipment of similar nature in the main channel of Lake Windermere (Courtney, 1999). These measures will serve to reduce directly-induced pollution caused by human activities, as well as minimize disturbance of fish and other aquatic lives.

Lake Windermere is a key source of income for its inhabitants, as well as those visiting the Colombian northwest. It is an attractive site for tourist activities, as well as being an excellent site for recreational activities. The water from the lake has largely been used by inhabitants for irrigation, drinking, and fishing activities. However, the lake is faced with environmental concerns such as pollution, overfishing, growth of weeds, and climatic changes. Over the last few years, the activities at the lake have registered a decline, with fishing and tourism taking the highest toll (Lowag, Bull, Vardy, Miller & Pinson, 2012). Measures to revamp the lake would include instituting relevant policies on environmental preservation, as well as educating people on the values of environmental issues, including aquatic macrophytes, factors that cause their increase, and the risk of their spread. Implementation of these control measures would not only re-energize fishing in the lake, but also promote tourist activities thereby improving the livelihood of people around the lake.


List of References

Courtney, Rick. 1999. Windermere Lake: WaterQuality Monitoring Program. EnviResource Consulting. For Regional District of East Kootenay.

Elliott A. J. 2012, ‘Predicting the impact of changing nutrient load and temperature on the phytoplankton of England’s largest lake, Windermere. Freshwater Biology. Vol. 57 Issue 2, p400-413.

Hargan, J 2008, ‘A Day To Visit Windermere’, British Heritage, 29, 5, pp. 51-53,

Ioannis K., T, Jian, W, Huihua, S, & Caterina, V 2011, ‘Environmental Hydraulics: Hydrodynamic and Pollutant Transport Modelling of Lakes and Coastal Waters’, Developments In Water Science, 56, Environmental Hydraulics Hydrodynamic and Pollutant Transport Modelling of Lakes and Coastal Waters, pp. vii,1-viii,360.

Lowag J., Bull J.M., Vardy M.E.,  Miller H. & Pinson L.J.W. 2012, ‘Lake Windermere, UK’, In Geomorphology. 171, p.42-57.

McGowan, S. et al. 2012, ‘Humans and climate as drivers of algal community change in Windermere since 1850’,  Freshwater Biology. 57, 2, p260-277.

Natalia V., C, & Hans J., C 2010, ‘Analysis: An experimental investigation of revealed environmental concern’, Ecological Economics, 69, pp. 2033-2041.

Pyne, J 1998, ‘Lake Windermere, from ‘The English Lake District’, 1853 (litho)’, Bridgeman Education.

Rhodes, G, Porter, J, & Pickup, R 2012, ‘The bacteriology of Windermere and its catchment: insights from 70 years of study’, Freshwater Biology, 57, 2, pp. 305-320.

Winfield, I, James, J, & Fletcher, J 2008, ‘Northern pike ( Esox lucius) in a warming lake: changes in population size and individual condition in relation to prey abundance’, Hydrobiologia, 601, 1, pp. 29-40.


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