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Lakes Tour report published

The report of the latest long-term survey of Cumbrian lakes, carried out in 2010, is now available

The Lakes Tour is a long-term survey of the water quality and ecology of the 20 major lakes in the English Lake District, including two which are included in ECN (Windermere and Esthwaite Water). The report on the latest survey, carried out in 2010, was released this month and includes an analysis of changes in the lakes over the last three decades.

The Tour was first carried out in 1984, and has been repeated in 1991, 1995, 2000, 2005 and 2010. The work is carried out by scientists from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology supported by staff from the Environment Agency, with funding from the Environment Agency and the Lake District National Park Authority.

The 2010 report notes that there are signs of improving water quality at Esthwaite Water, providing evidence for the effectiveness of reduced phosphorus inputs from a fish farm and a wastewater treatment works. In contrast, at other lakes such as Ennerdale Water, there has been a marked reduction in water transparency that is linked to small increases in the concentration of phytoplankton chlorophyll a.

The Tour results also identified relatively high concentrations of a pesticide, diazinon, in several lakes that are now being investigated by the Environment Agency to identify the cause and actions that need to be taken to reduce them.

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