National Park is looking for views on the management of Bassenthwaite Lake National Nature Reserve

Published on: 04 Oct 2023

A view over the Bassenthwaite Lake National Nature Reserve

The Lake District National Park Authority owns Bassenthwaite Lake and manages this and other areas of land that make up the National Nature Reserve. The Authority is currently looking for feedback on its draft five-year management plan, with an online consultation starting this week and running until 24 November 2023. Landowners, lake users, including permit holders, and other stakeholders are being encouraged to take part.

As well as being within the Lake District National Park, and a National Nature Reserve, Bassenthwaite has special protection as a Site of Special Scientific Interest as well as being part of the River Derwent and Bassenthwaite Lake Special Area of Conservation.

Cath Johnson, the Lake District National Park Authority’s Northern Ranger Team Leader says: “Bassenthwaite is a special lake for wildlife, supporting breeding ospreys during the summer and many other flora, insects, birds, and small mammals all year round.

“It's a wonderful place for some quiet enjoyment, as motor craft are strictly managed and sailing, rowing, kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding, fishing, and swimming are all permitted. We issue permits for most of these activities, so that we have a good understanding of how and when people are visiting the area, and money raised goes back into helping us protect and conserve the lake, to benefit its wildlife. This plan also includes how we propose to manage the recreation interest whilst protecting the sites biodiversity.”

As the landowner and manager, it is the National Park Authority’s job to maintain an up-to-date management plan for the National Nature Reserve. A draft management plan has been produced for review which follows Natural England's Management Plan for all National Nature Reserves in England.

The Authority’s plan is to manage priority wildlife and habitats identified by Natural England and protected by both UK and European law. In this draft plan we explain how and where we can make a difference over the next five years with the resources available to us as the focus.

If you would like to get involved in this consultation, please view the draft plan, and give your feedback by Friday 24 November 2023 here. for further information on the Management Plan and Bassenthwaite Lake, please email

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