The devastating losses of wild species on and around Windermere in the Lake District are indeed caused in significant part by the dumping of untreated sewage by United Utilities (Lake District sewage could leave Windermere ‘ecologically dead’, 8 October).
Matt Staniek’s activism is urgent and necessary, but misses out a crucial factor – that of the dramatic increase in the number of humans through activities on the water, such as large groups of swimmers or paddleboarding and boating. The impact of this on breeding birds and mammals should not be underplayed.
It is a sad truth that while lockdown brought about a reawakening of our collective interest in the natural world, one of the longer-term repercussions of Covid – massively increased tourism in places such as the Lake District – is contributing to the breeding failures of the very things we have only just relearned how to love. Without some way of limiting human impact, the only possible direction of travel for wildlife is down.
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