11 May 2018

Families can learn about the science of the Lake District in a fun and interactive way over half-term.

Scientists from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) and Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University are organising a free Science Discovery Trail with activities and talks suitable for people of ages. It will take place at Harrowslack, on the western shore of Lake Windermere, on Saturday, 2 June.

Signs will guide visitors around a 2km trail and there will be 4 science stations at relevant locations along the route, each highlighting issues with direct or indirect ecological impacts:

  • Sustainable energy
  • Soil erosion
  • Natural flood mitigation
  • Algal blooms

Each station will be staffed by scientists who will provide demonstrations, activities and talks on a rolling basis. Visitors are free to join the trail at any time between 10am-3pm and to drop in and out of the stations at any point. A welcome pack will be provided and there will be a quiz for participants.

The scientists at the stations will explain how flooding and soil erosion can be prevented, what algal blooms are, how cow dung can warm your homes and why the Lake District is a great place for sustainable energy. They will also advise how the public can play an important role in ecological research through citizen science projects, providing details of how people can get involved in research.

The Science Discovery Trail is a mixture of paved tracks and woodland trails on National Trust land, and it will take about an hour to complete. It will start from the National Trust car park at Harrowslack (postcode LA22 0LR, grid reference SD338960).

Parking is very limited at Harrowslack, so visitors to the event are advised to catch the ferry from Bowness and follow signs from the ferry landing.

 

Event organiser Dr Sam Harrison, a CEH research scientist based in the Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, said the aim was to help break down the perceived barriers between the scientific community and the public.

He said: “We aspire to increase knowledge and enthusiasm about crucial scientific topics, promoting understanding of how to contribute to research through citizen science.

“This will lead people to become more engaged in, and conscious about, important scientific issues and how science helps to protect them and the environment. Our take-home message from the event will be ‘Let’s protect the Lake District together’.”

For further information, contact Dr Sam Harrison on sharrison@ceh.ac.uk