Japanese Tour Operators raise £18,975 for the Lake District Foundation

Japanese Tour Operators have collectively raised £18,975 for the Lake District Foundation in a year.

The participating businesses ask their customers who are booking a trip to the Lake District if they would like to make a £5 donation to the Lake District Foundation, and they receive a small gift in exchange.

Last year, we were delighted that the following tour operators were involved:

  • Club Tourism International
  • Eurasia Travel
  • Friend Tour West Japan
  • Global Youth Bureau
  • Hankyu Travel International West Japan
  • JTB Media Retailing Kyushu Branch
  • JTB Retailing Tokyo
  • JTB Media Retailing West Japan
  • Nippon Travel Agency
  • TDR Travel Express

Here are some pictures of our participating businesses celebrating another successful year!

Moriyama high school students thank the Lake District for having them with a generous donation

Students from Shiga Prefectural Moriyama High School were back in the Lake District again this summer for a one week study programme as part of their Japanese Ministry of Education funded school project “To Realise a Sustainable Society”. We were delighted to be invited to their final presentation workshop and farewell party at the YHA Grasmere, where the students presented Ms Sarah Swindley, CEO of the Lake District Foundation with a generous donation of £100.

At the barbeque party which followed the presentations, students quizzed our CEO eagerly on topics ranging from the differences in environmental awareness in Japan and the UK, attitudes to volunteerism in the two nations, and why the Lake District could take a leaf out of Japan’s book, by installing road mirrors on corners to help cars and buses more safely navigate the Lake District’s many narrow and winding roads.  Sarah Swindley pronounced herself “utterly charmed” by the Moriyama high school students, and we hope to see them again next year, as well, perhaps, as students from other Japanese high schools, in years to come. With better weather, hopefully, given the torrential rain that fell during the farewell barbeque!

Youth Panel Member Recruitment

The Lake District Foundation is looking for up to 10 young people aged 14-19 to help us shape the direction of the charity.

We want to better understand what young people value in the Lake District and Cumbria, what projects they feel are important to support and what life is like for them living in the area.

This is a volunteer opportunity but travel expenses will be paid.

Meetings will be held up to 4 times a year.

Role Description/Person Specification

Aged between 14-19 on 01/09/2018

Living in The Lake District or surrounding Cumbria.

An interest in areas such in conservation, tourism, charity or environment.

Able to attend up to 4 meetings a year at locations across the Lake District. Support will be given to attend and we would not want access to transport to be a barrier to applying.

This is an exciting opportunity to learn new skills, meet new people, develop experience that is useful for CVs/ personal statements and explore new career avenues. There will also be the opportunity to meet our Trustees and our Adventure Ambassador, Sean Conway.

Short listed candidates will be invited for an informal interview.

If you are interested please complete the short form on the link below.

Any data we collect will be collected in accordance with our Privacy Policy.


The Lake District Foundation is 1!

Today, 9th August 2018,  we celebrated 1 year since we were registered with the Charity Commission. To celebrate, we invited our trustees, volunteers, partners and corporate supporters to join us for a networking party (with cake of course) including a short presentation from the director, Sarah Swindley.

Sarah highlighted our activities and achievements over the year, including having raised almost £400,000 for 16 different projects in the last 12 months.

Sarah Swindley says, “Growing a new charity is an amazing challenge for any third sector leader. We have big plans at the LDF and are working hard to achieve our ambitious goals. It’s been a busy year so far, running two organisations in parallel as we said goodbye to Nurture Lakeland and transitioned all our work into the new structure.

“We are a tiny team of with the equivalent of four full time staff. Our influential trustees are the heart of our organisation and I would like to thank the board, my staff and our volunteers for all this hard work. We have had incredible support from the many that see the necessity of an independent charity that is noncampaigning, politically neutral and aims to make a positive difference by harnessing the love that people have for the area.”

Over 30 supporters attended the event and were asked to help us to answer the following questions:

  1. How can we work better together?
  2. What would you like us to prioritise in the next 12 months?
  3. What projects would you like us to support?

We received some great ideas and we look forward to putting your ideas into action.

Attendees received a copy of our annual report, hot off the press! You can read it here.

Attention is now shifting towards the next 12 months. Director Sarah Swindley, added: “Our first grants will shortly be awarded and there are many amazing projects that we can support come to life. I’m excited to see where the future takes us. We are planning two new campaigns that will look to raise funds directly from the public to distribute to great work in the Lake District. We are working with Natural England on an exciting piece of work on the Cumbrian West Coast, linked to the new national coastal path. We are also developing our partnership with Cumbria Tourism and others to look at how we use every opportunity to promote sustainable tourism habits and approaches.

To keep up to date with the latest news from the Lake District Foundation, sign up to our newsletter or follow us on twitter, facebook and instagram!

Action for marine conservation in the Irish Sea

Last year we raised over £1,000 for the Living Seas project. We caught up with the project manager to find out how the project is progressing.

How do you know this project is needed?

Unfortunately, the UK seas are not Living Seas. Decades of neglect have left them damaged and degraded, a shadow of their former diversity and abundance. We urgently need to act to bring them back to life, and the next five years are critical.

It is literally ‘make or break’ time. With new laws and Government commitments in the offing, we have a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity. If we make the very best of that opportunity, pushing every step of the way, our seas will turn the corner and start to recover their health. If we do not, they will continue on their downward spiral.

What does your project do to address this need?

Cumbria, Lancashire, and Cheshire Wildlife Trusts have come together to deliver The Wildlife Trusts’ vision for our seas across the region: Living Seas North West. With the invaluable help of our supporters, volunteers and members they are campaigning for the designation and management of a network of Marine Protected Areas throughout the Irish Sea and the conservation of the wider marine environment.

The Wildlife Trusts envisage that within Living Seas, marine wildlife will thrive, from the depths of the ocean to the coastal shallows.
In Living Seas:

  • Wildlife and habitats are recovering from past decline as our use of the seas’ resources becomes environmentally sustainable.
  • The natural environment is adapting well to a changing climate, and ocean processes are helping to slow down climate change.
  • People are inspired by marine wildlife and value the sea for the many ways in which it supports our quality of life.

Can the local community get involved with your project?

To achieve these goals the project works closely with local communities to ensure that the project activities and outcomes also meet their needs.

As part of the project the Wildlife Trusts have delivered marine and coastal community engagement events and activities to encourage people to explore and experience wildlife and wild places on the coast, with the hope that they will then see the value in protecting them for future generations to come. They are also recruiting and training volunteers from local communities to become Marine Champions to lead activities, carry out essential survey work and contribute to the campaign.

What outcomes have you achieved so far?

5398 people engaged in total throughout the second year of the project
29 surveys undertaken along the coast
1255 individuals have taken part in activities at centres along the coast
3339 additional people have been inspired through community events
869 children have benefitted from Beach School or school activities
1250 pledges made to protect the Irish Sea
530 young people actively engaged in campaigns and surveys
28 additional Our Irish Sea Marine Champions recruited
5 training days run for volunteers

To find out more about the project, follow Living Seas North West on facebook or twitter!

Fundraising success for the Keswick to Threlkeld Railway Path

The 6-month fundraising campaign to raise funds for the reconnection of the Keswick to Threlkeld Railway Path is now complete and we are pleased to announce that a total of over £102,000 has been raised. Local businesses, organisations, and residents turned out to celebrate the fundraising success over a scone and a cup of tea on Thursday 5th July, at the Moot Hall, Keswick.

Sarah Swindley, director at the Lake District Foundation, thanked the community for their support: It is testament to the amazing community spirit in Keswick that this much has been raised in such a short space of time. The energy and enthusiasm of residents and visitors who miss this path so much has been nothing short of inspirational. The Lake District Foundation is proud to have played our small part in this. We have made many friends and we look forward to working with you in the future as we find new ways to raise funds for the whole area.”

 The campaign was supported by the local community, with businesses, residents, visitors and organisations all playing their part. Donation boxes and campaign materials were displayed in 72 local businesses and many of these business carried out additional fundraising events including quiz nights, selling special products, and taking part in the K2T 5k challenge.

Chris Harper, Owner of Podgy Paws Pet Shop says; “When Jess from Cake & Salad and I put the call out locally we couldn’t believe how many businesses came forward to offer prizes. It was superb! And when we started selling tickets, again, we were blown away by the responses, as all the tickets were sold in a week. We were thrilled with how much was raised and quite simply, it was good old fashioned fun for a cause close to all our hearts”.

Community organisations also got involved, making donations and holding events, including a railway path walk by Braithwaite School which raised over £300 and a national fell running event hosted by Keswick Athletic Club which raised £1,250 from proceeds. On midsummers day, with the support of Keswick Scouts, Keswick Anglers, Keswick Lions, Keswick Town Council and the Love the Lakes shop, a duck race raised a further £1,300 for the campaign.

As part of the campaign The Lake District Foundation hosted its first ever charity auction night and raised over £8,600 from 40 lots. Local businesses and celebrities donated fantastic prizes including a day on the Lake District Fells with Alan Hinkes OBE; the first Briton to climb the world’s highest mountains, the fourteen 8,000m peaks. The Lodore Falls Hotel & Spa kindly donated the venue, canopies, reception drinks and £20 per booking to the campaign.

Members of the public could donate online, by cash, cheque, or Text Giving throughout the campaign and 6 local residents set up sponsored events of their own. Adam Bazire, owner of the Threlkeld Coffee Shop, has raised over £2,300 to date or his challenge to walk the full route of the old railway from Penrith station to the former Keswick station.

Mark Eccles, Head of Park Management at the Lake District National Park, also attended the celebration event and thanked everyone and announced the next steps.

Mark says: “I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has contributed towards the terrific fundraising effort and for the Lake District Foundation for coordinating the campaign. Whether you’ve run 5k, stood on a street corner with a donation box or bought a duck in the river race, you should be proud to have played your part in helping reconnect the Keswick to Threlkeld Railway Path.”

 “But it doesn’t stop here. We’re waiting to hear the results of a number of major funding bids, and are highly optimistic that we will secure the amount needed to be able to begin construction, subject to planning permission, later this year. If all goes to plan, we will be looking at a two year build phase, meaning this important route could be fully reconnected by 2020.”

The following next steps to reconnecting the Keswick to Threlkeld Railway Path were outlined at the celebration event as follows:

  • Extensive building, design and consent works, including:
    • 5km trail
    • re-opening and extending of ‘big tunnel’
    • two new bridges
    • extensive repair and improvement to one bridge
    • 200m metres of new path
    • extensive repairs to existing infrastructure (drains, walls, bridges and revetment walls)
    • soft engineering providing river bank stabilisation.
  • Planning permission to be determined on 1 August 2018
  • Imminent tendering of work to identify and secure a contractor to build the Multi User Trail, taking up to 10 weeks
  • Construction will take up to two years and could start from November 2018

Local Resort raises £20,000 for Lake District Conservation Projects

Hapimag’s Burnside Park Resort at Bowness on Windermere, in the heart of the Lake District, has reached a fundraising milestone by raising over £20,000 for local conservation projects.  The business has worked closely with local charity The Lake District Foundation (formerly Nurture Lakeland) for over 10 years, raising funds for a variety of projects protecting Cumbria’s unique natural landscape, flora and fauna.

Sarah Swindley, Director of the Lake District Foundation said “£20,000 is a fantastic sum to raise.  The Lake District Foundation’s Visitor Giving Scheme was one of the first in the country and Burnside Park was one of our earliest supporters.  The business has demonstrated over many years how visitors to the Lake District are happy to give back to help care for this unique environment.”

Lisa Holden, Resort Manager at Burnside Park explained “When we enrolled in the scheme, I never dreamt that we would raise such a huge sum.  Visitor Giving is a simple concept, raising funds by adding a small voluntary contribution to the Lake District Foundation to each guest accommodation bill.

All the team here take great interest in the projects we support and in talking to our guests about how they have helped make a difference.  I think this is the secret of our success – by making sure that all our guests understand how their donation is used, we find that very few guests choose to opt out of the scheme.

We are very proud to play our part in helping to care for the Lake District’s wonderful environment – it is, after all, what brings our guests back the Lake District year after year.”

Thanks to the funds raised at Burnside Park, the Lake District Foundation were able to make a grant to South Cumbria Rivers Trust’s ‘Experience the River’ project.  Children from South Lakes primary schools have enjoyed trips to their local river, where they are encouraged to get their feet wet to experience the river habitat at first hand and to study the fascinating creatures and plants found there.

Bekka Corrie-Close of the South Cumbria Rivers Trust thanked Burnside Park for their fundraising. “It’s our aim to make the children champions for their local beck, and to carry the message for sustainable activities at home and at work into their local communities.  The funding from the Lake District Foundation’s Visitor Giving Scheme has been vital to the continued implementation of this project, which has reached over 1,000 local children since 2006.  We can’t thank local businesses enough for their support for our project.”



Better habitats for rare butterflies thanks to LDF funding

Last year the Lake District Foundation made a grant to support conservation work at Warton Crag Nature Reserve, and in March 2018 the staff and volunteers at Lancashire Wildlife Trust completed a project to provide habitat for rare butterfly species.

Warton Crag is a nationally important area of limestone habitat including grassland, woodland and limestone pavement, supporting some of Britain’s rarest butterflies, including Peal Bordered Fritillary and High Brown Fritillary, as well as an array of other rare invertebrates and plants.

The woodland is managed by coppicing, which provides patches of open, sunlit ground vital to Fritillaries and a range of other woodland species. The areas of limestone grassland and bracken are managed by conservation grazing using hardy, native breed cattle, which help maintain a mosaic of important habitats.

During the summer of 2017 work started on timber extraction from felling works during the previous winter. Because part of the site is designated as a Scheduled Ancient Monument (SAM), one of the conditions attached with the permission from Heritage England was that a temporary bridge had to be built over the upstanding features of the upper ramparts before machinery could be taken up to the summit to extract timber. This was achieved using a geotextile mat backfilled with wood chip produced on site and lengths of chestnut paling to stabilise the chip on the slope.


Around ten tonnes of timber particularly the less accessible unstacked lengths were moved by hand with staff and volunteers and then extracted using the Trust tractor and a hired in ATV. Contractors were employed to take off the remaining larger timber stacks using specialist equipment to ensure there was no damage to either the SSSI or SAM and work was completed at the start of August 2017.


The eight wheel drive Alstor Mini-Forwarder used proved ideal for accessing narrow gaps and difficult terrain and left almost no visible footprint.


Monitoring work during the summer of 2017 produced very low numbers of Pearl-bordered and High Brown Fritillaries but there was good news with an excellent year for Small Pearl-bordered with the best numbers for over ten years. It was also great to see many of these using the new rides and coppiced areas.


New ride (above left), visited by Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary (above right). 

Work started early in the 2017/2018 winter season to complete the second phase of the main felling works. After completing the ride down the southern ridge below the summit, work started on the new ride down towards Westfield in early 2018.

All the work was finally finished early in March 2018 and the main network of rides has now been completed. Summer 2018 will see the remaining timber extracted and the usual summer work of butterfly monitoring and bracken control.

Lancashire Wildlife Trust are currently looking into developing outlets for some of the timber to help financially support future ongoing maintenance work, as well as looking to develop ideas for utilising the smaller coppice wood from ongoing management in future years.

The next Lake District Foundation call for grants will open on 1st July 2018. If you work on projects that care for the landscapes, wildlife and cultural heritage we would love to hear from you.



Heart of the Lakes raises over £18,000 for the Lake District Foundation

The award-winning Lake District self-catering agency Heart of the Lakes, with offices based in Ambleside and Keswick has presented its first donation of £18,732 to the Lake District Foundation.

The money was collected between 1st April 2017 to 31st March 2018 for their chosen campaign: Fix the Fells. The monies raised will be used to sponsor a Fix the Fells upland path ranger – their “Woman At the Top“!

Sue Jackson, Partner of Hearts of the Lakes says; “As part of our ongoing commitment to conservation and the environment, and as a local family business operating across the entire Lake District National Park, we have valued and supported the crucial work of Nurture Lakeland from day one. We now look forward to continuing to work alongside the new Lake District Foundation and are extremely excited to hear about the new initiatives that both the business community and our loyal visitors can get involved with.  By working together, we can ensure this very special landscape that we work, live in and enjoy all year round is looked after for future generations and visitors alike.”

The original visitor fundraising project began in 1995 – the very first of its kind in the UK – to encourage visitors booking through Heart of the Lakes to contribute £1 per week booked towards local projects that care for the Lake District. Today the initiative funds a full-time member of staff at The National Trust who works with the Fix the Fells project team that helps to restore and improve the footpaths across the Lake District.

Sarah Swindley, Director of Lake District Foundation says; “Heart of the Lakes have played a fundamental role in developing key visitor giving schemes over a considerable amount of time and have been influential from the very beginning of some of the most successful environmental projects in the county. The work they have contributed to is a fine example of what The Lake District Foundation aims to achieve, and we look forward to working with them to many more years to come.”

In 2005, due to the success of the scheme the contribution was increased to £2 per week booked. Through the generosity of Heart of the Lakes customers £381,717 has been raised, and after match funding from Heritage Lottery this figure is over £500,000 for Fix the Fells.

If you are inspired to support local community projects such as this, please make a donation to the Lake District Foundation Fund.

Or to find out more about fundraising in your business, take a look at our simple steps, or get in touch – we would love to hear from you!

Ways to donate

Join us as a regular supporter of the Lake District Foundation!

By donating as little as £2.50 per month, you can become a regular supporter and directly contribute to funding vital projects aimed at caring for the Lake District and Cumbria’s natural environment and cultural heritage.

As a regular donor you will receive a welcome pack including a Lake District Foundation tote bag, window sticker, limited edition pin and woven patch badge – the latter of which has been produced by Keswick-based family business, Conquer Lake District.

You can sign-up by telephoning 01539 822 622, 9am-5pm on weekdays, or download this form and return by post or email to [email protected]


See below for more ways to donate:

Donation Method

How to do it

Gift Aid Collection Available?



Visit our JustGiving page and enter your card or PayPal details to make a donation amount of your choice JustGiving will collect Gift Aid on our behalf
Cash Please hand cash to a member of the Lake District Foundation and if applicable, specify your chosen campaign (e.g. K2T). We can provide a receipt if needed. If the cash donation is under £20, we can claim Gift Aid without a declaration. If the donation is over £20 please complete a Gift Aid Declaration and send to us by email or post.
Cheque Please make your cheque payable to Lake District Foundation and if applicable, write your chosen campaign (e.g. K2T) on the reverse. Please complete a Gift Aid Declaration and send to us by email or post.
Community fundraising or sponsored event Please get in touch with us, or set up a JustGiving fundraising page Built in to JustGiving
Text Giving To donate to the Lake District Foundation Fund:

Text “LAKE01 £5” to 70070

or to donate to the Keswick to Threlkeld Railway Path Fund:

Text “KTOT18 £5” to 70070

You will receive a text message asking if you would like to Gift Aid your donation

Red Squirrel Workshop – Monday 16th April 2018

Are you involved in red squirrel conservation in Cumbria?

Join us for a development workshop on Monday 16th April 2018 at 13:00 – 15:30at Murley Moss Business Park, Kendal.

The aim of the workshop is to:

  • discuss the strategic and operational challenges facing red squirrel conservation groups,
  • identify some key achievable outcomes for Cumbrian red squirrels,
  • explore the potential to work towards a joint fundraising campaign.


13:00   Welcome from the LDF

13:10   Outline Workshop Aims

13:20   Update: red squirrel conservation – national position

13:30   Update from local groups: describe your organisation, aims for 2018, top 3 challenges, and opportunities identified

14:30   Workshop activity – prioritising outcomes and opportunities

15:00   Plenary

15:30   Close


To find out more and to book your place, please get in touch: [email protected]

Reconnecting the Keswick to Threlkeld Railway Path – Fundraising Campaign is Live!

Working with the Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA), we are launching a fundraising campaign to raise funds for the reconnection of the Keswick to Threlkeld Railway Path, and we are now looking for the help and support of local businesses and community groups with this campaign.

Heather Askew, fundraiser for the Lake District Foundation said “I know how much we all miss having this fantastic route available, whether it’s for a family walk, a training run or a cycle ride.  This accessible route has so much to offer for both locals and visitors and is a vital connection between Threlkeld and Keswick.  This fundraising campaign will help support the cost of getting this route fully restored.  I hope that local businesses and community groups in Threlkeld and Keswick will be keen to get involved and support this project.”

The flooding in December 2015 caused extensive damage to the trail, 2 bridges were unseated from their abutments and irreparably damaged, a third was badly damaged, 200m of path embankment was washed away and undercutting of the bank below is threatening the long-term stability of the boardwalk section.

The LDNPA intend to largely reinstate the original route, including work to replace the two missing bridges, to repair the third bridge, to re-route the trail around the missing section of embankment and to reopen the original railway tunnel to replace the raised boardwalk section.

Planning permission for the work is being applied for in March 2018 and the project is expected to cost around £5.4 million. A £2.5 million grant from Highways England has been awarded, and we are now looking to raise the shortfall of around £3 million.

The LDNPA anticipate that phase 1 (design) will be complete by July 2018 with the designs and necessary environmental and planning consents in place.  Subject to securing match funding, phase 2 (construction) could start as early as summer 2018.  The LDNPA will be sharing designs for the project in February 2018.

If you would like to get involved with this fundraising campaign, please email Heather Askew: [email protected] or call us on 01539 822622.

You can donate to the campaign by:

Don’t forget to follow the Lake District Foundation on Facebook and Twitter for the latest campaign updates!


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