Lake District National Park is the United Kingdom's most famous park, with millions of people coming to visit it every year. The area is filled with lush green hills, lakes, and beautiful flowers throughout the year. It is located in the northwest corner of England in Cumbria, and spans around 885 square miles. Quaint country lanes span the scenery making for calm walking venues, and there are also hiking trails for all-day excursions on foot. The main towns in the park are Windermere and Ambleside, and these are also where many visitors choose to lodge during their visits to the park.
Tourists can visit famous authors' and poets' country homes, such as William Wordsworth's establishments at Rydal Mount and Dove Cottage. The entrance fee is 7 pounds per adult and, when paid, visitors can explore these 19th Century homes, which contain many of the poet's memorabilia. The weather can be unpredictable, and it rains often here. Therefore it is advisable to bring a rain jacket just to be safe. The worst rains occur during the winter, while the peak tourist season is in the summer months. If visitors are coming for an outdoor escape, it is important to keep in mind that the lakeland fells can be a difficult climb, so it is important for travelers to come prepared with good hiking boots and other gear.
An amazing feature of the park is that so many famous English authors have found their inspiration within these rolling hills. People like William Wordsworth, Arthur Ransome, John Ruskin, and many others have all came to the Lake District to write and relax in peace. The Lake District has 16 lakes and the highest mountains in England, so it creates for astounding scenery, with the small English villages in the surrounding area only adding to its charms. Artists still find inspiration in this corner of the U.K., so the area has an interesting creative atmosphere, as evidenced by such attractions as local street art and "sculpture trails".
Agriculture has been an important factor in shaping the habitat of the Lake District and, without grazing pastures, much more of the land there would be covered in woods and forests. The areas that are wooded, however, provide still provide sanctuaries to many birds, such as the buzzard and the tawny owl. Other animals living within the Lake District's forests include badgers, foxes, and deer. Sessile oaks and Ash trees can be found in different areas around the park, and water-loving vegetation like mosses and liverworts thrive because of the frequent rainfall. There are also large conifer plantations that have spruce and pine trees to fuel the timber industry in the area.
The Lake District has been protected by the government since 1951 to keep the park and its environment safe. There are 8 National Nature Reserves throughout the park to further protect the wildlife inhabiting the area. A danger to the woodlands comes from overgrazing by domesticated animals and human exploitation. The park also has a rich deposit of limestone pavement, which creates a unique and fragile environment for many plant and animal species. Limestone is a rock used in building and decoration, so exploitation of the resource has become a serious threat. Furthermore, the lakeshore environment is constantly endangered because it is a tourist attraction, and its many visitors can disrupt the natural ecosystem.