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Cumbria has 25,000 hectares of protected land, 278 Special Sites of Scientific Interest and 104 nature reserves. Cumbria Wildlife Trust alone has 40 nature reserves that it protects and enhances for wildlife.

Cumbria is important for wildlife because of the wide variety of habitats in the county.

  • Rare mountain flowers grow on the fells.
  • Coastal marshes and mudflats of Morecambe Bay and the Solway Firth provide homes for wintering waders and wildfowl.
  • Wildflower meadows hold pockets of once-common flowers such as autumn gentian.
  • Half of all the remaining peat bogs in the UK are found in Cumbria and Lancashire.

Joe Murphy of Cumbria Wildlife Trust: "Cumbria’s peat bogs are not only important because of the rare plants that are found there but also because they act as carbon sinks. They hold massive amounts of carbon which would otherwise be free in the atmosphere and keeping them intact is one way to help fight climate change".

Cumbria contains all the highest mountains in England and all the big natural lakes. The only limestone pavement in the world is found in UK and Ireland - a third of England’s limestone pavement is in Cumbria.

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