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What We Do

Freshwater Science & Education

We produce books, keys and other freshwater resources in collaboration with some of the UK’s top freshwater scientists (and enthusiasts!). We also offer training courses to develop the skills of anyone interested in working with freshwater creatures and plants. Our training courses range in level of difficulty and audience; there is sure to be something to excite the casual enthusiast as well as the full-time practitioner!

These courses are hosted at our bespoke sites, the lake-orientated Windermere site (Cumbria) and the river-orientated East Stoke site (Dorset), both of which house fantastic facilities tailored to provide course-goers with an up-close and personal view of the freshwater world.

Essential Freshwater Conservation

We are leading two exciting projects focusing on conservation of the freshwater pearl mussel (Margaritifera margaritifera) to form an integrated conservation strategy for the species in England. Both projects are supported by Natural England and the Environment Agency and aim to halt the decline of the species in the wild through targeted restoration and increase numbers of surviving individuals in the wild through captive rearing and re-introductions.

The critically endangered freshwater pearl mussel is extremely important to our ecosystem; each individual mussel can filter up to 50 litres of water per day, removing algae and small particles, making them integral to the process of keeping our waters clean. Understanding the conditions necessary for their survival in the wild will, in turn, help other species within our freshwater ecosystems. 

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We Provide Long Term Data Supporting Freshwater Science

Since 1933 we have monitored water levels and temperatures of England's largest body of fresh water. Having one of the longest data sets of one of the largest bodies of fresh water puts us in a unique position when it comes to supporting freshwater science. 

We monitor and record the daily water temperature of Windermere.

windermere temperature graph

This provides us with an understanding of the rate at which the temperature of one of England's largest bodies of fresh water is rising due to climate change. Since records began in 1933, the water temperature has risen by almost 2 degrees celsius.

We also monitor and record the daily rainfall and water level of Windermere.

windermere water levels

Rainfall has been rising over the past 68 years. Looking at the trend line, there is now on average 1mm more rainfall each year.

The live monitoring station at Windermere, Far Sawrey provides up to date information on the current water levels. You can access further information including long term data, provided by the Environment Agency, using the link below.

Live Lake Levels