Guest blog – Wildlife of the Lake District

For a change I have a guest blog, requested by Sacha Francis, social media executive from Bristol. Sacha is keen that extol the virtues of the wildlife of the Lake District. There are some lovely photos on her link…….

From the largest land mammal in the UK to the fastest animal on earth the Lake District is home to a myriad of wildlife all with their own unique traits and characteristics. From the species-rich hay meadows and mossy woodlands in the valley bottoms, up to the windswept fells and crags which give the Lake District its unmistakable skyline wildlife is in abundance.

The Red Squirrel

With the ever-present threat from the non-native grey squirrel there is a huge amount of voluntary conservation done to help protect the red squirrel. Recently the elusive pine marten has been introduced into the region to try and help these tufted-eared creatures hang on in Cumbria.

The Red Deer

With stags weighing up to 190kg, red deer are crowned the UK’s largest land mammal and have been here in the Lake District for centuries. Easily seen at dusk or dawn on the South-east shore of Ullswater, Martindale is home to one of the oldest herds of red deer in England.

The Peregrine Falcon

With a famous dive that can reach speeds of up to 300km/h peregrine falcons are the fastest creatures on the planet. Females are larger than their male counterparts with wingspans of up to 120cm. They have made a near miraculous recovery from virtual extinction due to poisoning in the early part of the 20th century and thankfully their numbers remain steadily increasing. Doing particularly well in cities now they can often be found using the edges of cathedrals, art galleys and tower blocks as alternatives to cliffs and crags for nesting. In the Lake District you can spot them in and around the well named Falcon Crag.

Pied Flycatchers and Redstarts

Last but not least the pied flycatchers call the mossy, fern filled, oak woodlands around the edge of Ullswater home. The beautiful birds seek out holes in the trees to nest and rear their young. Unfortunately, they are now on the red list of conservation concern having seen a steady reduction of the type of mature woodland they like to dwell in. If you look in the right places however you are very likely to see them, try Hallinhag Wood on the South-East shore of Ullswater between May and July…

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4 Responses to Guest blog – Wildlife of the Lake District

  1. John Martin says:

    I’d like to invite Sacha to join the Facebook Cumbria Mammal Group. Has the elusive pine marten really been reintroduced to the area?

  2. Alex Milne says:

    Pine Marten have certainly been recorded at Kielder forest park, which is not far away from Cumbria. Kevin O’Hara of Vincent wildlife trust said “It is great news that we are starting to see further evidence of pine martens re-establishing themselves in northern England.” They could have got there by dispersal over the border, as they have certainly got past many of the barriers in Scotland and are spreading widely. There was no “official” introduction, and I have no knowledge of them in the Lake district or an unofficial introduction, which I admit is also possible.

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