Lake District Case Study

The Lake District National Park is located in Cumbria in Northwest England. It is renowned for its lakes, forests, mountains, glacial features, and famous figures such as Beatrix Potter. The park covers 912 sq. mi/2,362 km2 and was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2017. What glacial formations can be found in the Lake District? What are the impacts on the Lake District? How can it be managed? Let’s dive into our Lake District Case Study!  

Lake District Case Study Lake District Case Study

Create learning materials about Lake District Case Study with our free learning app!

  • Instand access to millions of learning materials
  • Flashcards, notes, mock-exams and more
  • Everything you need to ace your exams
Create a free account
Table of contents

    Lake District case study formations

    The Lake District is a glaciated landscape made up of many distinctive glacial formations such as drumlins, corries, arêtes, glacial troughs, and lakes. Let’s take a closer look!

    Glacial erosional formations

    Helvellyn mountain, located in the Lake District, is one of England’s tallest mountains and is home to several erosional formations such as the Striding Edge arête. What is a glacial erosional landform?

    A glacial erosional landform is a landform that has been created during glacial periods through the processes of abrasion and plucking. Examples of glacial erosional landforms include glacial troughs, corries, arêtes, and U-shaped valleys.

    Helvellyn mountain, standing at 3,113 ft/949 m above sea level, was formed approximately 450 million years ago and is composed of igneous rock with many of the glacial features formed during the last glacial period over 20,000 years ago. Helvellyn mountain comprises Swirral Edge arête and Striding Edge arête, where the Red Tarn corrie or lake can be found. What is a corrie?

    A corrie or cirque is a steep-sided hollow created on the side of a mountain by a glacier. Often a corrie lake or tarn is formed once the ice has melted.

    Lake District Case Study Helvellyn mountain StudySmarter Fig. 1 - Helyvellyn mountain in the Lake District National Park

    These glacial features were formed by rotational slip, plucking, and freeze-thaw weathering, which still affects the landscape today. Another formation found in the Lake District is ribbon lakes such as Ullswater. These lakes occupy deep glacial troughs or U-shaped valleys, with Lake Windermere named the largest ribbon lake in the Lake District.

    Lake District Case Study Lake Windermere StudySmarterFig. 2 - Lake Windermere in the Lake District National Park

    Glacial depositional formations

    The Lake District is also home to several glacial depositional landforms, including moraines and drumlins, which form when debris or sediment is left behind by a moving glacier. As a result of deposition, boulder clay has been deposited at the bottom of valleys as drumlins, with the majority located in Swindale. Ground moraines also cover the Lake District in areas such as Bannerdale and Haweswater, despite being mainly covered by vegetation. These moraines were formed during the Younger Dryas period, displaying the extent of the plateau ice fields during this period.

    Younger Dryas is a period of extreme cold from around 12,900 to 11,700 BP (before present).

    Lake District Case Study Drumlins StudySmarterFig. 3 - Drumlins in Trusmadoor, Lake District National Park

    Lake District case study impacts

    On average, 15.8 million tourists visit the Lake District each year, bringing in £1.48 million as of 2018. However, despite the benefits that tourism brings to the region, there are many negative impacts too. Let’s explore the impacts below!

    Social impacts

    Public transportation has improved significantly due to investment in tourism, with the Lake District also offering a beautiful, scenic place for locals and tourists alike to go walking and hiking.

    However, about 90% of visitors who visit the Lake District come by car, which causes severe congestion and traffic problems, especially in the summer, with attractions such as the Bowness shopping centre also becoming extremely busy during this period. Another disadvantage is that tourists might not always support local businesses, as they might buy from big supermarkets on the way to the park rather than from local shops.

    The housing prices have also increased as 20% of the properties in the Lake District are private or secondary homes. This has also reduced housing availability for the local people, with many of the holiday homes not occupied for most of the year. This forces local people to move out of the area to find affordable housing in the outskirts, such as Kendal.

    Lake District Case Study Holiday home in Grisedale Lake District StudySmarterFig. 4 - Holiday home in Grisedale, Lake District

    Economic impacts

    Tourism brings in around £1.48 million a year, with tourists visiting sites such as Hill Top, the family home of Beatrix Potter, beside Lake Windermere. This provides jobs for over half of the workforce in the Lake District as tour guides, water sports instructors, and in local shops and cafes. Money from tourism can also be invested in conservation and improving public transport. However, jobs in tourism are often seasonal and may not pay as well, with shops also perhaps catering more to tourists rather than locals.

    Environmental impacts

    The Lake District is a national park home to many animals, birds, insects, and plants. However, the Lake District is also threatened by many factors, such as increased littering from tourists. Pathway erosion also occurs due to the sheer volume of tourists walking along the paths in the Lake District and especially in the Cat Bells.

    Fuel spillages result from ferries and power boating, causing water pollution and affecting local wildlife such as fish and birds. Lake Windermere also allows ferries, power boating, windsurfing, and water sports to occur, with the wash from these faster, damaging vehicles eroding the shore at an alarming rate. Air pollution and congestion cause damage to the environment due to the extreme volume of cars that drive to the Lake District, with vehicles often parked on grass verges also causing damage.

    Lake District Case Study Motor boat on Lake Windermere StudySmarterFig. 5 - Motorboat on Lake Windermere

    Lake District case study management

    Several initiatives have been implemented to minimise damage caused by tourism. Read on to learn more about management in strategies in the area.

    Traffic management

    Effective road networks must be planned to manage traffic and congestion in the Lake District. This includes placing dual carriages and roads alongside the Lake District to manage traffic and reduce congestion in the town. Heavy lorries can be diverted away from the scenic routes, with traffic also slowed through measures such as cattle grids in the countryside and maximum speed limits.

    Public transport

    Bus lanes and Park and Ride operate in towns, limiting congestion and encouraging people to park on the outskirts and take a bus to the national parks instead. This will also help to improve air quality.

    Management in tourist hotspots

    Repairing and reinforcing paths will encourage people to stay on the routes and deter them from walking in protected areas. Roadsides and protected areas can be fenced off to prevent tourists from parking, and car parks can be reinforced to avoid damage and encourage people to park there.

    Bins are also provided along walking routes for people to place their rubbish, reducing litter. Signs can also be placed alongside routes encouraging people not to dump their waste.

    Housing management

    Local authorities should build more affordable housing for local people within the area and perhaps limit holiday homes to provide for the local population.

    Envrionmental management

    Speed limits can be implemented for cars and boats to reduce environmental damage and pollution. Pedestrians are encouraged to keep to established routes, reducing environmental damage and erosion.

    Lake District case study challenges

    Despite these management strategies in place, there remain challenges within the Lake District, especially with tourists. For example, visitors can trample crops, leave gates open and disturb wildlife while out walking with dogs in particular, which puts them in conflict with farmers and park rangers. There is also conflict over the speed limit for boats, with many water sports, such as water skiing, relying on high speeds.

    Tourists can also conflict with locals due to increased traffic congestion, noise, and air pollution. Mass tourism also results in the erosion of footpaths and littering in beauty hotspots, spoiling the landscape. Secondary homes and increased house prices also remain a significant issue in the Lake District, with local people pushed out to the outskirts.

    Lake District case study conservation

    Many conservation schemes are in place in the Lake District to protect the landscape and its wildlife. Through the National Trust and local wildlife charities, over 70 rangers look after the Lakes through path repairs, litter picking, and wildlife monitoring. Along with wildlife conservation, historic sites and the famous walls that define and shape the landscape must also be maintained and restored.

    Management strategies such as encouraging tourists to stick to the paths and reducing traffic congestion through Park and Ride schemes also help to conserve the landscape and reduce noise and air pollution. The Armathwaite hall estate is also located in the Lake District wildlife park and is home to over 100 species, such as lemurs, zebras, goats, and donkeys.

    Lake District Case Study - Key takeaways

    • The Lake District comprises glacial erosional landforms such as corries and arêtes and depositional landforms such as drumlins and moraines.
    • Positive impacts of tourism and the Lake District include improved public transportation, job opportunities for locals, and bringing in around £1.48 million a year by offering a beautiful location for locals and tourists to explore.
    • Negative impacts to the Lake District include congestion, increased house prices, environmental damage, and footpath erosion.
    • Management strategies include traffic management, encouraging public transport, increasing accessibility for housing, and repairing footway paths to reduce erosion. Over 70 rangers and volunteers have been conserving the park through litter picks and wall and path restorations.
    • Challenges that still threaten the Lake District are conflicts between locals and tourists, such as increased traffic and wildlife disturbance by dogs. Housing availability remains to be a significant conflict.

    References

    1. Fig. 1 - Helyvellyn mountain in the Lake District (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Helvellyn_Striding_Edge_360_Panorama,_Lake_District_-_June_09.jpg) by David Iliff (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Diliff) Licensed by CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en)
    2. Fig. 2 - Lake Windermere (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lake_windermere_in_2005.jpg) by Edward Taylor (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Jmstylr) Licensed by CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en)
    3. Fig. 3 - Drumlins in Trusmadoor, Lake District (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sheep_on_a_Drumlin_-_geograph.org.uk_-_818555.jpg) by Michael Graham (https://www.geograph.org.uk/profile/3141) Licensed by CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en)
    4. Fig. 4 - Holiday home in Grisedale, Lake District (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Holiday_Cottage_Lake_District_-_geograph.org.uk_-_10553.jpg) by Paul Birrell (https://www.geograph.org.uk/profile/322) Licensed by CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en)
    5. Fig. 5 - Motorboat on Lake Windermere (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Motor_Boat_on_Lake_Windermere_-_geograph.org.uk_-_2062234.jpg) by Peter Trimming (https://www.geograph.org.uk/profile/34298) Licenced by CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en)
    Frequently Asked Questions about Lake District Case Study

    What challenges does the Lake District face?

    The Lake District's challenges include congestion, noise and air pollution, littering, footpath erosion, increased house prices, and conflicts between tourists and farmers, as crops and livestock can be disturbed. 

    How is the Lake District being managed?

    The Lake District can be managed through planning effective road networks, maximum speed limits, encouraging tourists to use public transport such as Park and Ride, repairing footpaths and making housing affordable for local people. 

    What makes the Lake District a distinctive landscape?

    The Lake District comprises multiple erosional and depositional glacial features such as glacial troughs, corries, arêtes, U-shaped valleys, drumlins, and ground moraines. Helvellyn mountain is a crucial example of Swirral edge arête and Striding edge arête. 

    How did glaciers shape the Lake District?

    Through plucking, abrasion, freeze-thaw weathering and glacial deposition, the Lake District was shaped by glaciers during the Younger Dryas period. These processes are carved into the landscape forming ribbon lakes, arêtes and U-shaped valleys that make up the Lake District today.

    What caused the Lake District?

    The Lake District was caused by glaciers during the Younger Dryas period, a period of extreme cold from around 12,900 to 11,700 BP. This resulted in the glacial processes of abrasion, free-thaw weathering and deposition, forming the features that can still be seen today. 

    Test your knowledge with multiple choice flashcards

    TRUE or FALSE: A landform that has been created during glacial periods through abrasion and plucking.

    TRUE or FALSE: A corrie is formed when sediment is left behind by a glacier, creating a round-shaped hill 

    What are some glacial processes? 

    Next
    1
    About StudySmarter

    StudySmarter is a globally recognized educational technology company, offering a holistic learning platform designed for students of all ages and educational levels. Our platform provides learning support for a wide range of subjects, including STEM, Social Sciences, and Languages and also helps students to successfully master various tests and exams worldwide, such as GCSE, A Level, SAT, ACT, Abitur, and more. We offer an extensive library of learning materials, including interactive flashcards, comprehensive textbook solutions, and detailed explanations. The cutting-edge technology and tools we provide help students create their own learning materials. StudySmarter’s content is not only expert-verified but also regularly updated to ensure accuracy and relevance.

    Learn more
    StudySmarter Editorial Team

    Team Lake District Case Study Teachers

    • 10 minutes reading time
    • Checked by StudySmarter Editorial Team
    Save Explanation

    Study anywhere. Anytime.Across all devices.

    Sign-up for free

    Sign up to highlight and take notes. It’s 100% free.

    Join over 22 million students in learning with our StudySmarter App

    The first learning app that truly has everything you need to ace your exams in one place

    • Flashcards & Quizzes
    • AI Study Assistant
    • Study Planner
    • Mock-Exams
    • Smart Note-Taking
    Join over 22 million students in learning with our StudySmarter App