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Climate will change Lakeland’s fells

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Climate change will have a profound impact on the Lake District according to a report from Natural England. Lakeland, selected as one of four habitats alongside the woodland and chalk grassland of Cranbourne Chase, the Norfolk Broads and the varied farmland in the Shropshire Hills, will need significant change in the way it is managed in the future particularly to avoid a ‘carbon time bomb’ – the release of further CO2 from peat soils as summers become warmer and drier and winters wetter. The Report says that whilst many species in the area are likely to expand their range and new species such as the heath fritillary butterfly are expect to colonise the Lakes, some species such as the mountain ringlet butterfly and arctic char face extinction. Other effects include the possible destablising of walls and the foundations of older buildings through long dry summer periods and a shortage of water for recreational facilities alongside increased water pollution. The mountain habitats of the high Cumbrian fells are particularly susceptible to climate change. Dr Helen Philips, Chief Executive of Natural England that “the time has come for us to start taking real action to help our most treasured landscapes and wildlife adapt to climate change. This is the first step in creating a national picture to enable us to fully assess the true impact on the natural environment before it is too late”.

Picture: my mate Tel.

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