As Summer approaches, visitors coming to the Lake District might be interested in the local Cumbrian flora and fauna. Within the Lake District National Park itself, there are lovely lakes, woodlands, mountains and fells to explore; however, guests might also enjoy visiting some of the nature reserves in wider Cumbria. Wildzone lists a calendar of events and invites nature enthusiasts to take part in conservation work in some these reserves (www.wildzonecumbria.org/events).
Fleswick Bay is an RSPB nature reserve located in St Bees, on the western coast of Cumbria. It is located ‘about a one mile walk along the cliff top north between St Bees and St Bees Head. This is the first part of the Coast to Coast Walk, and this stretch of coastline is the only designated Heritage Coast in Cumbria. An RSPB nature reserve on the headland is home to England’s only colony of Black Guillemots. Puffins, terns and other sea birds can also be studied. There are observation and information points all along the headland.’ (www.visitcumbria.com/wc/st-bees-fleswick-bay.htm)
Another nature reserve in West Cumbria is Clints Quarry, which is owned and managed by the Cumbria Wildlife Trust (www.cumbriawildlifetrust.org). The quarry is a scheduled Site of Special Scientific Interest, now long abandoned to nature.
Clints Quarry, a dramatic looking nature reserve with vertical cliff faces up to 20 metres high, was created when the area was quarried for limestone. The limestone was used for agriculture, building and the local steel industry but quarrying ended in 1930 and since then the quarry has been left to nature. It has become a great place for wildlife, with added geological treasures and industrial archaeology.
Ox-eye daisies, bee and pyramid orchids have colonized the old spoil heaps, and coral fossils can be found on the quarry walls. There is an old lime kiln in the woodland – a reminder of the site’s industrial past. Work is underway to ensure that the kiln is safely restored as an historic feature of the quarry.
(Excerpt taken from www.nurturelakeland.org.)
Here is another photo of Clints Quarry, this time reflecting its previous industrial past:
Cumbria is synonymous with the Lake District, but the Lake District National Park is only a part of the wider Cumbrian whole. I hope that this post will whet your appetite to explore not just the Lake District itself, but also Cumbria, which has much to offer.
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