National Trust

Trust urges swimmers to wash gear as invasive weed spreads

Ewan Murrie


Underwater plants in the Lake District are under threat from an invasive species, according to the National Trust

New Zealand Pygmy Weed has already killed off some native plants in Derwentwater and the trust is worried that it could be inadvertently spread to other lakes nearby.

Hands holding NZ pygmy weed

The trust says minute fragments of the weed can be carried on equipment such as swimwear, wetsuits, canoes and inflatables, but simple precautions such as allowing the gear to dry out, or washing it between uses, can prevent contamination.

Jessie Binns from the trust says lakes such as Crummock Water, Buttermere and Loweswater can still be protected, but that on Derwentwater, dense mats of the weed have already formed across a lot of the lake bed.

By 2003, nine species of our native species had already been shoved out."

Jessie BinnsNational Trust

Events mark 80 years since poet's home was saved

Wordsworth house in Cockermouth was saved from demolition and opened to the public 80 years ago this month.

Wordsworth House opening
National Trust

The poet's childhood home was going to make way for a bus station, but a campaign to save it received worldwide support and in June 1939, it was presented to the National Trust and opened to the public.

There will be two major exhibitions and a series of talks and events through the month to celebrate.

Buzz from trust about bumble bees in poet's garden

The National Trust says it has now recorded seven different species of bumble bee in the garden of Wordsworth House in Cockermouth.

Bumble bees
National Trust

The head gardener there, Amanda Thackeray, said they grew different plants to suit different bees which were better suited to the Lake District because of their furry bodies and tolerance for damp conditions.

We conducted a year-long survey and found tree, garden, early, buff-tailed, white-tailed, red-tailed and common carders, which look like little brown teddy bears."

Amanda ThackerayNational Trust

When the golden marjoram is in flower in high summer, the entire borders seem to be humming. Our globe thistles are bee magnets too."