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Winter garden's plant street is named after

Winter garden's plant street is named after



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Winter garden's plant street is named after the town's historic, late eighteenth-century town hall. It was from there that Edward and Mary Wordsworth and Dorothy climbed out of the lake at the beginning of their journey towards the Duddon, from where they viewed the 'mountains' and 'valleys' of the west Cumbrian fells that would play such an important role in the growth of their poetry. As William Wordsworth, the most famous of their sons, wrote: 'The lake where the Duddon takes its rise was one of the most lovely scenes, the most beautiful in the world. It was a spot which could not be passed over. It was the first point of view that the wanderer who was destined to wander so much through the world, and through life, and to write the story of it, should have seen.'

**Duddon** is a civil parish in the City and County of Lancaster district. Its area is 21,000 hectares, of which 18,500 hectares is open countryside and 9,000 hectares is wooded. The majority of this is within the Duddon Forest, owned and managed by the Forestry Commission, and the remainder is under the control of a range of smaller forest management organisations. The Duddon Forest is at the heart of a complex and fascinating landscape. Many of the lakes and streams are owned and managed by the local trust, who hold a long lease from the Forestry Commission. Other areas, including the hills and moorland, the woods and coppices, the lakes, ponds, ditches and hedges, the grasslands and ancient woodlands, are owned and managed by individuals, villages and businesses, and by English Nature and the Forestry Commission, who all share a common aim: to provide safe havens for a range of animals and plants.

The Duddon itself has long been regarded as the most beautiful body of water in the county. It lies in the far north of the district, in a wide and open landscape, and is the largest and most extensive natural lake in the whole of the English Lake District. The largest of the lakes, it is only a few miles north of the main A590 road. It was known to the Romans as Luguvalium. Later it was known as Llanduddwyn and Llanddulyn and was given the name of Duddon by Leland in the 16th century. There are an astonishing seven lakes within its confines, and the deepest part of the river reaches a depth of 515 metres (1,668 feet), the lowest of the lakes being just 25 metres (82 feet) above the river. The Duddon is an impressive sight. It lies in a wide, flat valley through which the river flows, its margins fringed with a wooded landscape. It is fed by three small brooks and by several small, unnamed springs. By the time it reaches the lake it has lost its tributary waters, but a dam across the river is the first significant feature of the river's descent.

In some areas the river is wide enough to allow passage by water of a rowing boat or even a canoe. The banks are fringed by broad stretches of flat meadow, and the grass is grazed by wild ponies. On the south bank a few patches of woodland still remain in a thin strip between the lake and the river. The trees on this bank are birch, oak, sycamore, ash, hazel, holly and rowan. There is no common wood, only scattered clearings in the wider woodland. There are not many places where the land is flat enough to support a farm or grazing field. At a time when agriculture was based on extensive farming, with farmyard animals kept on grass, the flatness of this area would have encouraged settlement. In the past the area was very heavily wooded, but even now it is far less wooded than other areas to the west of the M6.

As the stream falls from the dam it narrows.For the last half mile it runs in a deep channel, over a rocky bed, and is no more than 80 feet across at its widest. This is a very deep river, with a drop of about 300 feet in the course of its course. Because of its steep sides, its depth is constant and unvarying, although very narrow and confined at the edge. The drop is also not quite uniform, but is greatest in midstream. The water drops from one to two metres a second at its steepest. Even at its deepest, the water rarely reaches its source at Litton. On its journey to the lake the river loses more than half its volume.

Water levels

As there are no springs to draw water from, the total volume of water that is available to Litton Lake is set by how much precipitation falls and how much is taken by the trees in the surrounding area.

The total flow of the Severn River from its sources at Wye Falls to below Litton is very high, at around 2,500 cubic metres per second (74 million imperial gallons per second). If it were to flow at its maximum for a whole year it would be about 3,450 cubic metres per second. However, for much of the year, when it is at its lowest, the flow is around 60 cubic metres per second (1.6 million imperial gallons per second).

Water from Litton Lakes makes up around half of this water. The rest comes from natural springs, which come from the hills to the west, from Wigmore, and the tributaries that feed into the lower stretch of the river.

The depth of the water in the river is kept constant by the dam at Litton, built in 1881. As the amount of water entering the lake varies, so the level of the lake changes.

History

The first record of Litton Lakes being named is in 1381 in the Domesday Book. The Lakes had two owners, John Lisle and his wife Margaret of Evesham, a landowner with more than three thousand acres at Evesham. They were the landowners for the three hundred acres (12 ha) for the annual rental fee.The three hundred acres was situated between Wigmore and Catt's Hill. The rent was £3 per year.

As Litton Lake grew in size and the amount of water held by it increased, it grew to be a place of recreation.

Sinkholes

Sinkholes are natural caves that appear in many areas that are saturated with groundwater. Sinkholes can be formed by the sudden collapse of a cave or by water flowing slowly underground.

Litton Sinkhole is located under the water of Litton Lake, where water from the spring below Litton Lake meets the river near the village of Litton Cheney, Warwickshire. The cave is around in depth, covers around four acres of land, and is between in length, in width and in height. The cave is a natural spring, where water wells from the underlying limestone bed beneath the water of Litton Lake and slowly flows underground. It is not filled with water from the lake, but was formed when the river became silt-laden and silt blocked off the spring, leaving the cave in its current state. The spring that creates the sinkhole is not considered to be significant for drinking water, but is used for domestic and recreational purposes, such as swimming and fishing. It is fed from a spring a little over a mile away.

Recreation

Swimming

Although the lake is known primarily for its size, several other water activities are also available. Fishing is possible, and there are many access points around the lake, from the bank to the water's edge