This project aimed to employ palaeolimnological methods to determine the condition of a series of lakes which had remained largely unchanged since the 1920/30s, representing a trophic series in a near natural condition. The aim was to use these as model lakes to provide restoration targets for polluted waters. This report describes the 1997 macrophyte flora and water chemistry of thirteen lakes of conservation interest and the lithostratigraphy, radiometric dating and fossil diatom assemblages in approximately four levels of a sediment core from the deep basin of each lake. The palaeolimnological technique of diatom transfer functions was used to investigate the onset, rate, extent and possible causes of eutrophication at the study lakes. Quantative reconstructions of lake pH were carried out for four sites. The lakes studied were: Clarepool Moss, Betton Pool and Crose Mere, Shropshire; Wastwater, Bassenthwaite Lake and Esthwaite Water, Cumbria; Oak Mere, Cheshire; Greenlee Lough, Northumbria; Hatchet Pond, Hampshire; Semerwater and Malham Tarn, North Yorkshire; Upton Broad and Martham South Broad, Norfolk.
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