Ali Orchard-Mitchell

Year 1 MArch

Acid Britain

Addressing Acidification and Eutrophication of Inland Waters

Lake Windermere, UK

This proposal addresses the issues of acidification and eutrophication of inland water bodies resulting from the accumulation of air pollutants, combined with an increase in the frequency and severity of extreme weather events due to the global climate emergency. The acidification and eutrophication of inland waters in the UK have been progressively worsening in recent years, negatively impacting those who interact with and depend on these waters, whether it be economically or recreationally. Furthermore, the ecologies and habitats sustained by these water bodies are also being affected. Studies have demonstrated that acidic or eutrophic conditions impede the growth and development of plant species and can even cause the death of plant and animal life. Despite much of our air pollution originating in urban areas and major transportation routes, significant amounts of air pollutants end up in rural areas with abundant vegetation.

Acid Britain is a research centre & field lab situated on the edge of Lake Windermere, Cumbria, employing field and lab-based methodologies. The project encompasses a variety of strategically placed interventions across the hillside, aimed at collecting, monitoring, and testing pollutants, as well as examining their impacts on ecosystems and environments. These interventions have been designed to capture and contain contaminants before they reach the surrounding soils and waters, thus preventing acidification and eutrophication. The collected pollutants are then harvested and utilised for further testing or transformed into fertilizers for local agriculture. The public project will also include a laboratory, a data centre, a visitor centre, a scout hut, observation points, field laboratories, pollutant indicators, pollutant accumulators, and water treatment and refinery facilities.

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