Strapline: The Tranquil Otter: 5 star lakeside self catering lodges

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See biodiversity in action at the Tranquil Otter

See for yourself how we’re increasing the wonderful variety of flora and fauna that enjoy life around the Tranquil Otter, making sure otters, many wildfowl and red squirrels continue to make their home here.

Your luxury lodge lies along the north eastern edge of Thurstonfield Lough, which is stocked with trout and home to many wetland bird and insect species, a family of otters and other animals typical of the English countryside.

The Lough is the largest species-rich area of open water in the lowlands of north and east Cumbria. It’s important because it sustains wildfowl as well as rare species such as the otter and the red squirrel. As a Site of Special Scientific Interest, at the reserve you can also find some of the best examples of aquatic vegetation, fungi, fringing marsh and wet alder and sallow woodland, not to mention the bats!

Our ten year plan to increase biodiversity will protect this fabulous habitat from widespread weed and algae growth that has disturbed other such precious ecosystems elsewhere – preventing deoxygenation, changes to the balance of fish and plants that live here, and even the eventual infilling of the lake.

Take the Water and Woods Green Trail

Take a walk around the Tranquil Otter and spot our innovations to conserve the Lough and increase biodiversity in the lake and woods. Look out for:

  • Our three silt traps. They keep the silt from entering the lake, and eventually filling it in.
  • Ponds planted with willow and reeds. They take nutrients out of runoff water from surrounding fields, preventing widespread weed and algae growth. We plan to harvest the willow and get even greener by using it as fuel for a central heating system for your lodge and hot-tub. Sustainable and green!
  • Ropes at the Kingfisher viewing point. These were put in place by a local archer, to support a giant rake that scoops weed from the lake in the rhythm of nature’s cycle. In fact we only do this work when swans aren’t nesting in the reeds, and not in the summer months as this could harm the fish and shrimps that live in the lake - you will see some weed if you visit us during this time. This is part of a long-term commitment to reduce the levels of sediments and nutrients already in the lake, using natural and sustainable methods.
  • The "Monks' Weir" near Heron uses the natural flow of the lake to help clear it of silt. During the winter, it takes the outflow from the bottom of the Lough, removing silt as it flows. In the summer, it takes duckweed and other similar surface plants from the surface with any overflow.
  • Selective cutting, thinning and coppicing of trees and scrub. We started working with the Forestry Commission last year, and have successfully completed the first year’s thinning. This has had a good effect on the diversity of insect and bird life.

You can get green at the Tranquil Otter

We’re passionate about conservation and biodiversity, and if you are too, there’s lots of ways to develop your green skills and enjoy protecting nature here. Talk to the Tranquil Otter team to find out the ways you can get involved.

Other Tranquil Otter green champions

A huge thank you to Clare Black and Lancaster University, whose work was a tremendous help to us designing our conservation and biodiversity plans. We’re also immensely grateful to the staff of Natural England, who are untiring in their support of our efforts.