Student Research

Wild Ennerdale offers a number of opportunities for research. We have listed below those that we are currently interested in but by all means suggest your own.

Ideas for Research

  • Heather condition survey – Mapping the condition and extent of heather on an area of the fell.
  • Cattle tracking – Compare the tracking collar data with actual movement on the ground
  • Cattle Behaviour – Understanding how the cattle interact with each other and the environment through continuous observation to answer questions such as how far apart do they graze, what species do they prefer, how often do they interact with each other through “social pushing”.
  • Cattle Impact – Using GPS map the areas of grazed vegetation, access corridors, glades and ungrazed woodland to get a detailed picture of the animals use of the ground.
  • Visitor Experience Survey- Carry out surveys of people visiting the valley and analyse the responses to see if there are any trends. We have a prepared survey form or you could produce your own.
  • River Liza – Map the rivers changing course and compare this to archive aerial photography.
  • River Liza – How long does a gravel shoal take to become vegetated and why do some gravel beds survive longer than others.
  • River Liza – How far does woody debris travel down the river from where it was growing. Use RFID tags or other system of tracking.
  • Woodland development – Investigate the link between canopy gap size, regeneration, light levels and vegetation.
  • Habitat development -can you help us understand how the valley is developing by modelling the valley or areas of the valley and how they might develop over the coming years.
  • Butterfly and Moth surveys - Can you explore what species favour which habitats in the valley.
  • Small mammals - we would like to know what small mammal populations we have across the valley, for a smaller project just choose one part or habitat.
  • Ennerdale Water Changes - model how the lakes shape and depth will change after the weir is removed.
  • Archaeology - Illustrate how the valley may have looked in the medieval period when the valleys historic settlements were active
  • Forest and scrub - Model in 3d how the valley might look in 100 years if our plan to increase woodland and scrub to 40% of the valley came to fruition.
  • Films - helps us make some short films illustrating natural processes, water, forest, cattle.

Previous Student Work