How will these resources help you?

The Lake District’s stunning glaciated scenery is fascinating for geographers and is crucial to its popularity as a tourist destination. These resources look at how the landforms were created, considering geology and glacial processes, how people use the area and how it is being managed by the Lake District Partnership so that the needs of different groups are considered. Despite this careful management, the area still faces significant problems in its use. Teachers and students looking for a case study of a glaciated upland area used for tourism will find these resources particularly useful.

How was the stunning Lake District landscape created?

Lake District Mountain Landforms

by Peter Wilson, published by Scotforth Books, (2010), 9781904244561

Wilson is both a keen hillwalker and a Quaternary scientist, making this book highly informative regarding landscape creation and a celebration of the beautiful place. Wilson discusses the different geology of its mountains (Borrowdale Volcanic Group, Skiddaw Sedimentary Group and the more recent Windermere Supergroup), then takes the reader back in time through different periods of glaciation and their impact on the landscape. Distinctive landforms are explained, and many are illustrated with photographs. This book is full of fascinating facts – three of the lakes have bottoms below sea level. Teachers planning lessons focused on the glaciated landscape of the Lake District will find their understanding expanded by this book.

How has geology influenced the formation of the Lake District?

The UK’s distinctive physical landscapes

by Susan and Stephen Schwab, published by The Geographical Association, (2020)

Written to support GCSE geography students in their learning, this stand-alone resource explores the Lake District as an upland area, contrasting it with the South Downs lowland area of the UK. The presentation’s initial slides introduce the UK’s geology, linking this to typical landscapes in upland and lowland areas. The resource locates the area and summarises key characteristics when focusing on the Lake District. Activities using Google Maps are included to enable the reader to explore a chosen location in more detail. Human use of the area is also considered, with links to relevant websites. 

How is the Lake District managed?

Lake District National Park Partnership’s Management Plan 2020-2025

published by Lake District National Park Partnership, (2021)

The Lake District National Park Partnership brings private, public and non-governmental organisations together to work towards the 2030 vision that the Lake District will be ‘an inspirational example of sustainable development in action’. This report is full of information about the value of the area and how it can be managed. The beautiful infographics of the early pages are ideal for exploring with students and practicing using different types of data. Attention is also paid to issues such as the need for climate action. Teachers planning lessons on the management of an upland area will find a wealth of ideas.

How have recent issues affected tourism in the Lake District?

Lake District in peril due to climate emergency and influx of pandemic walkers

by Josh Halliday, published by The Guardian, (2021)

This article explores some of the issues the Lake District has faced in recent years and their impacts on the landscape. When people began to head back out to the countryside following lockdowns in 2020 and 2021, many headed to the Lake District in unprecedented numbers. The article explains how this led to footpath erosion and why such damage is difficult to repair and suggests that the combination of this overuse and severe weather due to the climate emergency is putting strain on those working to protect the area. This article is an accessible read for teachers and students interested in the impact of tourism in upland areas.

Further materials

Cumbria’s tourism problem with one in four visitors not making the trip back by Sam Smedley, published by LancsLive, (2022) Read this article
Fix the Fells plays a vital role in the Lake District (Press Release), published by Fix the Fells, (2023) Access this resource
The Great Cumbrian Litter Pick, published by Friends of the Lake District, (2022) Read this blog post
Lake District, published by the Royal Geographical Society with IBG Access this resource
Catherine Owen is Head of Geography at The King Alfred School an Academy, a CGeog and a Geographical Association Consultant. She writes and presents for OUP, Hodder Geography, Tutor2U and more.

Text © Catherine Owen, 2022-2023