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Lake District wildlife habitat to be restored

Posted 24 October 2012
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Lake District wildlife habitat to be restored
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Claife Heights in the Lake District is a popular area with those who like to go walking or ride mountain bikes, but it is also a place where some rare habitat is being restored.

The national park authority has joined forces with Cumbria Wildlife Trust and the Forestry Commission to carry out work restoring a habitat in the vicinity for mosses and bog plants, as part of the Windermere Reflections Programme.

It has been constructing dams to help create new habitats for amphibians and dragonflies, as well as reducing the amount of soil washed into Windermere.

The project is part of Cumbria Wildlife Trust's Upland Wetland Restoration Project and Simon Thomas, the officer responsible for the undertaking, said: "We were delighted to have the opportunity to demonstrate that valley mires can be successfully restored.

"This rare habitat is largely restricted to the Lake District and most have been drained for farming or peat cutting."

National park management ranger David Switzer added: "Many people will be surprised to realise just how important the area is for wildlife."

Those who love to go walking or ride mountain bikes in the Windermere area will often opt for this western side of the lake, where they can leave behind the crowds of day-trippers and enjoy the quiet, sparsely-populated shoreline.

Claife Heights slopes down to the Lake and is easily reached from Bowness by crossing on the car ferry and then turning right along the minor roads following the shore.

While the area offers plenty of trails for mountain bikers to enjoy, walkers may be the most likely to stop and enjoy looking at the area's wildlife.

As well as bogs and woodland, visitors can explore a number of tarns around the top of the heights, although some of these - like Wraymires Tarn and Moss Eccles Tarn - are artificial. ADNFCR-2803-ID-801475000-ADNFCR