Climate change threatens the Lake District in many ways.  The most obvious being the episodes of serious flooding that have taken place over the past 15 years, culminating in the devastation wrought by Storm Desmond in 2015.  These events can no longer be described as unprecedented. They are happening now and have huge impact on lives, landscapes, experiences and the local economy.

Flooding also causes hidden harm to our landscapes including loss of soils which are vital for agriculture and wildlife; changes to the appearance of the fells; and damage to the Lake District’s networks of walls, paths, bridges and byways - all of which need repair and maintenance.

The river Greta reaching homes in Keswick ®Terry Abraham

Other climate change issues are also growing in impact.  We are already seeing drought periods which mean increasing water stress in the Lake District as our network of reservoirs struggle to supply enough water for northern towns and cities.  The rare wildlife that lives in our lakes and rivers such as the Arctic char, vendace and pearl-mussels, will come under pressure from low water levels and higher water temperatures. Rare Alpine flora will be lost from our mountain summits as temperatures increase. Woodlands and peatlands will suffer and large scale, devastating wildfires will be an increasing risk. 

We need to ensure the landscape is more resilient against the impact of climate change through: 

  1. Identifying the habitats, land uses and vistas that will be most susceptible to climate change. To do this we need to collate all the available evidence, and identify and plug gaps in the research.

  2. Identifying the actions needed to mitigate the landscape changes which are going to occur and working with the Lake District National Park Partnership and landowners to put them in place.

  3. Work to influence government policy on climate change and the uplands to promote natural flood management solutions.

  4. We also want to tackle carbon emissions from transport.


Read more on our Climate Change pages