Children pond dipping at Brockhole

Green Recovery at Brockhole

This exciting project will work to restore and improve the wonderful natural habitats at Brockhole on Windermere.

Visitors and young people will be inspired to protect and connect with nature through nature-focused fun activities, a programme of educational engagement for schools and placements to train young people in nature conservation.

This project will focus on three key areas of work:

  • The conservation, restoration and interpretation of eight priority habitats at Brockhole on Windermere.
  • The development of a fully resourced, accessible and versatile engagement programme for young people from urban backgrounds to connect with nature on our site.
  • A training programme that will upskill young people in habitat restoration/conservation skills, providing valuable work experience, skills and importantly accreditation for jobs in the environmental sector.
  • Children in a nature lesson at Brockhole

    Nature art in the woodlands.

  • Children examining nets during a pond dipping lesson at Brockhole

    Children looking at the species that live in the ponds at Brockhole.

  • A school group walking through woodland at Brockhole

    A school group education session walking through the woods.

  • Pond and reeds at Brockhole

    Brockhole has damp meadows, rush pastures, pond and species rich tall herb fen habitats.

Brockhole is home to 8 'UK BAP priority habitats'

Brockhole's 30 acre grounds contain 8 different UK BAP priority habitats, these habitats are some of those that were identified as being the most threatened and requiring conservation action under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UK BAP).

  • Upland oakland eg. ancient woodland
  • wet woodland/upland ashwood
  • neutral grassland
  • damp meadow/rush pasture
  • pond
  • species rich tall herb fen
  • eutrophic standing waters eg. lake shoreline
  • traditional orchards - to be planted

To improve our priority habitats, we are starting a range of conservation and restoration work

  • restoration work will take place on our lakeshore to prevent erosion and in the ancient woodland to give the next generation of trees the best chance to flourish.
  • the pond area will be doubled in size and the surrounding tall herb fen will be increased to benefit a range of terrestrial and aquatic species.
  • a traditional orchard will be planted for restricted educational use
  • two further bee hives will be added to accompany the colony of Brockhole bees.

We hope that by giving back to nature, we will create a richer and more diverse landscape that can be shared and enjoyed for generations to come.

Our habitat conservation officers tell you about the project:

Children pond dipping with staff at Brockhole

Education sessions

Our 'Explore and Restore Nature Days' offer eligible schools and youth groups in North West England to take part in subsidised nature-focused learning activities.

Book a session for your group

Project updates

Ponds are go

29 March 2022

Our new pond creation is well underway here at Brockhole on Windermere. The plan is to create two new ponds and allow the surrounding Tall Herb Fen habitat to expand. 

The primary goal is to increase biodiversity of both flora and fauna species and to use the area for educational purposes; highlighting the importance of ponds and drawing attention to their decline. 

Thankfully we had our four-legged supervisor overseeing the project.

Digger on site creating a new pond

Enjoying the recent warm weather? So are the frogs!

30 March 2022

We have even spotted our first frogspawn of the year in our ponds.

Keep an eye out for news about the new ponds we are creating here at Brockhole.

We've also been making minibeast windows to put around Brockhole.

Over time the wood will decay, attracting lots of different bugs including beetles, woodlice, slugs, and worms.

Why not make your own minibeast window to put in your garden and be sure to lift them up carefully when checking what's underneath!

Mini beasts under a dead tree stump

Green Recovery Challenge Fund partners

The project is funded by the government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund. The fund was developed by Defra and its Arm's-Length Bodies. It is being delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England, the Environment Agency and Forestry Commission.

The Lake District National Park Authority will work alongside The Ernest Cook Trust to deliver this project centred on nature recovery.