A new National Nature Reserve was formally created yesterday by Natural England. Wild Ennerdale is the ninth largest reserve in England, and one of the first 'Super NNRs' recognised for their landscape-scale approach.
Covering 3000 hectares of fell, forest, lake and river habitat, the reserve will build on the work that the Wild Ennerdale Partnership began 20 years ago to allow natural processes to shape the ecology and landscapes within the Ennerdale valley.
A collaboration between Forestry England, the National Trust, United Utilities and Natural England, efforts to date - including sustainable grazing (for which the Lake District generally is not known) have already significantly improved nature recovery in the Ennerdale landscape.
"Wild Ennerdale is a diverse and varied landscape which supports some of our most unique and precious wildlife, including Red Squirrels, the Freshwater Pearl Mussels that dwell in the river there and which can live for 100 years, and the Arctic Charr – a fish that has hung on in the valley since the last Ice Age" said Tony Juniper, Chair of Natural England.
"We have been working with partners for some years to improve this already amazing place and its declaration as a National Nature Reserve will enhance the spectacular landscape, wildlife and habitats, safeguarding them for the future while providing space for people to get close to wild Nature.
"National Nature Reserves are at the very centre of our ambition to create a vibrant national Nature Recovery Network comprised of bigger and better places for both wildlife and people. The Ennerdale partnership is a great example of what we have in mind and shows how working together can achieve that aim."