A high-tech effort to track the quality of water flowing into Windermere is underway, featuring brand-new equipment hosted by the Graythwaite Estate.

This united effort with water company, United Utilities, utilises water quality sensors along Esthwaite Water and Cunsey Beck.

The team behind the devices, also known as 'sondes', hopes that this will help to identify factors that affect water quality, allowing for plans to be developed to improve it.

Ed Sandys, from the Graythwaite Estate, said: “We are delighted to host United Utilities on Esthwaite Water and the Cunsey Beck for the purposes of monitoring and recording data. We all have a responsibility to clean up our rivers and lakes and this is a positive step in the right direction.”

Equally optimistic, Sion Platts-Kilburn, Catchment Manager at United Utilities, said: “There are a range of factors that can affect water quality, including wastewater and land run-off, and these new devices will give us a level of insight that we’ve never had before.

"Only by working together can we build up a picture of what’s going on along the entire lake and river, so we are really pleased to be working with the Graythwaite Estate team. We are looking forward to sharing the data more broadly.”

The state-of-the-art sondes were installed by RS Hydro.

These devices are capable of evaluating the water for multiple elements simultaneously such as organic material, bacteria, ammonia, phosphorus, water temperature, and oxygen levels.

These factors provide a comprehensive indication of a water body's health at any given time.

Four devices have been installed for the trial – one at each end of Esthwaite and two along Cunsey Beck.

This project is part of ongoing research aimed at enhancing understanding of water quality conditions in and around Windermere.

Projects like these and the Big Windermere Survey by the Love Windermere partnership, a year-long citizen science project involving 100 participants, are set to function as valuable archives for water quality data and research.