New CEH UK Lakes Portal is Launched

15 Mar 2016

The UK Lakes Portal is a new online gateway to discover the lakes of the United Kingdom, linking data from many institutions into one national hub.

The UK Lakes Portal - 40,000 lakes at your fingertips



Wast Water in the English Lake District, photo by Alan LawlorWith more than 40,000 lakes represented, a third of those with detailed information on their catchments, the scale of this new portal hosted by the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology is unprecedented for freshwater research in the UK.

The portal includes physical, environmental, and water chemistry data compiled from an extensive set of sources over many years. In addition, integration with the National Biodiversity Network displays biology data, while anyone can observe and record species observations at any lake in the UK, using iRecord to contribute new information.

Beginning life in 2004 as a GIS-based inventory of British standing waters, the portal has been gradually accumulating data to become an extensive and comprehensive resource for lakes in the United Kingdom. This vast dataset is now online and fully accessible to the public.

Professor Rosie Hails, Director of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Science at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, said,

“The UK Lakes Portal is a product of excellent collaboration between the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, University College London and the UK conservation and environment agencies. This is one of many natural capital portals that we hope to develop in the future as an evidence base to support policy and decision making."

Alongside development of the portal, a comprehensive freshwater species list for the UK has been created, including information on non-native species. This will be integrated into the portal as part of a move to create an extensive Natural Capital Hub for UK lakes, aligning the portal with a landscape approach to ecological research.

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