This posthumous publication brings together extensive data on the aquatic macrophytes of the larkes, tarns (mountain lakes) and reservoirs of Cumbria, North West England, that were gathered by the amateur naturalist Ralph Stokoe. During the period 1975-1980 he studies about 300 sites, visiting many more than once. He collected this data on a large collection of cards giving the species found in a given body of water, often including additional information such as alternative names for the water body, location, map reference, altitude, date or dates of visits, as well as information on surface area, depth, fetch, number of inlets and outlets, nature of the watershed, and surrounding vegetation. Additionally, he collected information on basic water chemistry such as total ion concentration and pH.
His unexpected and untimely death has prevented a more detailed publication of his data, and the editors have had to restrict the data incorporated into the text. This publication therefore gives separate alphabetical lists for most of the lakes and tarns of Cumbria that Ralph Stokoe visited, with their map reference, altitude and the date or dates of visits. Alternative names for the tarns are given in brackets, and locations are given for small tarns, or tarns with the same name. For each site there is an alphabetical list of the species found by Ralph Stokoe. Because of the large amount of information, abbreviations are used for the species – the first five letters to represent the genus and the first three letters to represent the species.