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Lake District fauna, fish and flora

Lake District fauna, fish and flora
Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite Lake hold trout perch pike and char. Introductions of tout b; fishing interests help to keep the population high. Salmon and sea trout, having fed up at sea, return to their natal watercourses for spawning. Salmon are known to summer in Bassenthwaite Lake.

Butterflies and Moths This is not prime butterfly country. The small blue butterfly is reported, and during the preparation of this guide the authors saw a peacock butterfly high on Blencathra, a painted lady in one of the gills and a hatch of small tortoiseshell butterflies, an uplifting sight. Heather, which covers a goodly area on the northern fells, is the home of large day flying moths. These include the northern egger, the fox moth and the emperor. In July, the northern dart moth flies high on Skiddaw. Antler moth caterpillars are sometimes profuse on Skiddaw and, in July, northern wave and dart moths are evident in a tract of land on and to the east of the great hill. The northern eggar occurs on Walla Crag.

Insects The mayfly is not as common as it was in less polluted times, but the trout of Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite Lake may still be seen rising to a hatch. Dragonflies, like tiny helicopters, bring a sense of life to fell top tarns. It is worth studying their coloring in fine detail, for there are an estimated twenty species. The northern wood ant occurs in many Lakeland woods, as far north as Ashness, above Derwentwater.

Climb to some of the stony summits, like Glaramara and Grisedale Pike, on a warm day in late summer and you will be surprised at the number of wasps, which appear to have gathered for some mating ritual. They are not interested in the food of visiting walkers. Bees visit flowering heather and convert pollen into a viscid type of honey. As the range of a bee is about two miles (3km), beekeepers must take their hives to the feathered areas. In summer, the hill trods abound with large black beetles, which judging by the number of beetle cases seen in droppings are a favorite tidbit of the fox.

The Skiddaw Slates are not as renowned for arctic alpine plants as, for instance, on Evelyn or the Fairfield Horseshoe to the south. Alpine campion flowers in sun-lit gullies on Little Man near Skiddaw . The grass of Parnassus, with its long stalked white flower, grows in a location off Borrowdale and, at appropriate elevations, an observant visitor might see melancholy thistle, bog orchid, sundew and bladderwort. The acidity of Lakeland is to the liking of the foxglove, which flowers freely in such conditions. Wild thyme flourishes as purple mats lying between the rocks.

 Alpine Campion is reported from Little Man. In rocky areas, the alpine lady\'s mantle occurs. It bears lemon-coloured flower heads; its seeds are in part spread through the droppings of sheep. Stags horns and club mosses should be looked for in high places. Starry saxifrage, its delicate white flowers supported on long stems, occurs on Grisedale Pike -. Those who follow the path across Glaramara towards Allen Crags - may see bog bean in some of the tarns.

The flowers of this aquatic plant are pink or white. Notice three leaflets on the flowering stem; below the water is a stout creeping rhizome. Barrenwort, with its small dull reddish purple flowers, grows on Car rock Fell. The diminutive yellow flowers of the tormented show up well on the high grazing. Where there is sodden ground, look for the butterwort, an insectivorous plant. The mauve flowers are carried on a stiff stem above sticky leaves that entrap and absorb insects. The dark-purple flowers of the milkwort are to be seen on grassland between May and August. Lousewort has pink flowers in short spike like clusters.

Typical species in mixed woodland include primrose, wood anemone, snowdrop and bluebell. The last-named forms carpets in the becks, mainly in June and July. Wood avens, which has pinnate leaves and yellow flowers, occurs in humid places. Bog aspho del, distinctive with its spike like cluster of yellow flowers and leaves shaped like sword blades, flourishes by Tweet Tarn, Castlerigg and in the mires of Grange Fell above Borrowdale (walk I8). Mires are also the setting for round leaved sundew, one of the insectivorous plants, and the heath spotted orchid. Where there is alder and willow car (marshy woodland), look for meadowsweet, which has white flowers, yellow flag and the gleaming yellow of marsh marigold, which forms a mat in favored areas.

The yellow flowers of celandine add a splash of spring color to open woodland. Roadsides These are, In effect, linear nature reserves. Everywhere are the purple steed pleas of foxgloves, which also adorn rocky areas. Herb Robert, with its bright pink flowers, and the tall forms of meadowsweet, with its profuse show of white flowers, are common. In high summer, waste areas have a jungle of pink topped forms of the rosebay willow herb. Knapweed, wild parsnip, sneezewort with its large white flower heads, yarrow, angelica, fleabane, scabrous and betony, sporting bright reddish purple flowers. Harebells, a delicate blue on thin stems, adorn dry banks.
fairly open woodland, such as that near Derwentwater.

Celandine (yellow) and wood sorrel (white, the petals lightly veined with pale lilac) are found in more open areas. Riverside, tarn and moss land The so-called cotton grass which is actually a sedge whitens the upland plateau as with summer snow. It is most common in damp areas and by high tarns. Rock stonecrop, with yellow flowers, flourishes by The dominant plant, as elsewhere in the Lake District, is that robust fern, bracken. New growth resembles a bishop\'s crosier and by early June the plant, which spreads via underground rhizomes, blankets the lower slopes of many a fellside. The oakwoods and deep gills of upper Borrowdale are home to a rich variety of ferns, including oak and brittle bladder and polyploidy.

The bright green parsley fern is found growing where there is a ruckle of screen in high places.A particularly attractive sight in birch woodland in autumn is fly agarics, its form and coloring being familiar to anyone who has read fairy tales, for the wee folk (or could it be the artist?) are attracted to this showy growth, a scarlet cap holding white spots which are the remnants of the filament that covered it during its rapid growth. The next rainstorm will wash the white spots away. Species occurring naturally in Northern Lakeland include sessile oak, ash and rowan.

Silver birch, the so-called \'lady of the woods\' because of its graceful appearance, is one of the first trees to colonies an area, though it is not long-lived and its timber is of little value. The sap used to be drawn off and drunk by local folk. Holly and pine are old-time Lakeland trees. Hawthorn is relatively common and produces an abundance of flowers which are said to be at their best on May Day, hence the old name \'May blossom\'. This became inappropriate in 1752 with the change from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar. Blackthorn is dressed in white blossom in early May.

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