Helicopter drops rocks to boost tarn wetlands

Helicopter carrying large bag of stones across Langdale Valley
Image caption,

The sediment in the bed of the tarn has not been disturbed since the last Ice Age

  • Published

Conservationists have been using a helicopter to protect a remote Lake District beauty spot.

The National Trust wants to preserve and expand peat wetlands at Blea Tarn in Langdale, near Ambleside.

Tonnes of rocks and timber have been dropped to block water flowing into the tarn through existing natural ditches and extend the wetland.

Using the helicopter to carry the more than 60 one-tonne bags to the site meant a job that would have taken days was completed in under two hours, the National Trust said.

Laura Ruxton, the National Trust’s general manager for the south Lakes, said it was already a "fairly wet area" but by increasing wetland areas the trust hoped to encourage natural wildlife.

Blea Tarn is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest, and is home to brown trout, perch and pike.

Work on the tarn is part of the National Trust’s Lake District Riverlands project, which includes watercourses from Keswick to Kendal, across the central fells, and out to sea.

Ms Ruxton said the project encompassed "the rivers themselves, the land which drains into them, and the rich array of wildlife and plants that call these varied habitats home".

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