We are delighted to share our annual report for the period April 2019 – April 2020 with you. We share our vision, reflect on our successes, and used a fantastic Cumbrian designer Emily Seaton to help us to bring our story to life.
In the report our Chair of Trustees, Gill Houston, reflects;
“Three years on from our inception we continue to deliver our vision, working through local partnerships to deliver leading edge research and innovative fund-raising schemes. This year we conclude our NESTA funded Rethinking Parks Project with insightful findings regarding the use of contactless technologies for fund-raising. Our fund-raising, and critically the generous donations from you our supporters, has enabled many local organisations to undertake a wide range of projects.”
Our timeline of the year started with our ﬁrst outdoor contactless donation points going live in April 2019, as part of our Nesta Rethinking Parks project, and ended with an invitation to apply to the National Lottery Heritage Fund Heritage Horizons Programme in March 2020, one of just 12 organisations nationally invited to compete for a share of £50m to help revolutionise UK Heritage. But we know we can’t make a difference by working alone. Sarah Swindley, CEO, says;
“Working in partnership is at the heart of what we do, and we continue to make these connections for the benefit of this amazing place and those who love it.”
This year we awarded small grants to nine local community projects from our Small Grants Fund. Our Small Grants Fund is made possible thanks to donations from businesses in the tourism economy across the Lake District National Park and Cumbria. They know that their visitors and customers value this special place and are keen to have the opportunity to put something back. Local community groups can apply for grants of up to £2500 for creative and sustainable projects which support our aims of sustaining the spectacular landscape, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Lake District.
We worked with over 150 businesses last year, supporting them to reach their fundraising goals and give something back to this fantastic county. One such businesses is Conquer Lake District. They create beautifully designed patches and gifts which are eye catching and make the perfect keepsake for treasured memories of a Lake District visit. They partnered with the Lake District Foundation in 2019, and decided to donate 5% from every single product sold, both online and in their 40 stockists, raising an impressive £2,013.41 in one year!
Owner Caroline Fisher says;
“Conquer Lake District are a local business with a passion for the outdoors and believe it is our responsibility to promote, protect and preserve our incredible National Park. We may be a small business, but we are proud to have made such a huge commitment and it was important to us to build a charitable element into our strategy from the beginning. We believe in making quality products that connect people with the projects that care for our majestic yet delicate National Park.”
Since writing this annual report, the full impact of the Corona Virus Pandemic is becoming increasingly evident. However, we are continuing to work to look after the Lake District and our natural world. Our climate emergency isn’t going away, and the pandemic has highlighted just how interconnected and dependent we are on our natural world.
Sarah Swindley says;
“We have seen how nature is providing real solace to people in these difficult times, and the positive benefits that people are reporting helps to underline just how important it is that, as we come out of this pandemic, we tackle the problems facing nature and look ahead to a green recovery.
I’m excited about the future of the organisation, not least because of the opportunity that the National Lottery Heritage Fund Heritage Horizons programme presents – and which you can read more about in this annual report. Through this programme of work, we are leading a collective ambition to create the largest nature recovery network in the country and will work tirelessly to make this happen, for the benefit of our communities and our nation.“
We’d like to thank all of supporters, donors, and collaborators that help us to achieve our vision, we can’t do this without you. You can read the full annual report here.