Support the Green Match Fund Campaign

What is it?

The Green Match Fund is a match funding campaign for charities which are working on environmental issues as part of their core mission.

All public donations made to participating charities via theBigGive.org.uk during the week of the campaign (22-29 April) will be matched up to a specific amount.

Match funding is being provided by The Big Give’s Champions which include The Reed Foundation, Garfield Weston Foundation and a number of other philanthropists and funders.

How can you help Lake District Foundation take part?

We’ve been selected by the Big Give to take part in the Green Match Fund Campaign, enabling us to unlock £10,000 of additional funding! We’re asking our supporters to donate to the Lake District Foundation’s online campaign when it goes live on theBigGive.org.uk.

All donations must be made via our campaign page on the theBigGive.org.uk donations must be made using a debit or credit card.

How does the matching work?

During the week of the Green Match Fund, donations made to participating charities are doubled. Each charity has a matching pot made up of Champion funds to double online donations made via theBigGive.org.uk.

When does it take place?

The live campaign kicks off at midday on World Earth Day (Thursday 22nd April) and ends a week later on Thursday 29th April (at midday).

Donations will be doubled by the charity’s Champion funds, until the match funds have been exhausted or the campaign has closed, whichever comes first.

Key information

  • For donations to be doubled, they must be made to LDF’s campaign page
    on theBigGive.org.uk with a debit/credit card by the cardholder during the live campaign.
  • Donations are doubled by Champion funds until these have been used up or the campaign ends.
  • Whilst there are no fees for charities to participate in the campaign, some fees are charged on online donations, calculated via the Big Give. We strongly encourage you to check how these are calculated and factor this into your donation. As a charity itself, you also have the option to donate an additional amount to contribute to the running costs of the Big Give platform, you can however choose to opt out of this. Please refer to our fees page for further info – or speak to a member of the LDF team if you have any concerns or questions.

Red Squirrel Campaign Success in Cumbria

In September 2019, the Lake District Foundation launched a campaign to raise funds to support Red Squirrel Conservation in Cumbria which has now raised over £14,000, in spite of the fundraising challenges the global Covid-19 pandemic presented. 

Cumbria is one of the best places to see Red Squirrels but research shows that the most serious threat to the survival of the red squirrel is the larger non-native grey squirrel, which not only outcompetes the reds for food, but also carries squirrel pox disease, which is deadly to the reds. 

Heinz Traut, Project Manager, Red Squirrels Northern England, said: “A recent study found that red squirrels were present in 64% of surveys within Cumbria, proving once again that the county is one of the best places to see this delightful species. However, reds are only thriving here due to the relentless commitment of hundreds of volunteers, who work tirelessly to preserve them. We are so grateful to the donors who have supported this campaign and enabled us to continue this great work.” 

The funds raised have now been distributed to 7 local squirrel groups for much needed monitoring equipment and other materials vital in the conservation of this iconic Cumbrian species. The grants will be used by local volunteer groups to buy squirrel feeders, squirrel food, cleaning apparatus and monitoring equipment to increase the efficiency of their conservation efforts. Some groups are also using their grant to produce information signs and leaflets to raise awareness in their communities and encourage people to report sightings of red and grey squirrels and to donate to the Red Squirrel Fund. 

Grants have also been made to Red Squirrels Northern England who coordinate and analyse the conservations efforts across the county, and the Lake District National Park Authority to restore woodland along the Keswick to Threlkeld Railway Trail, increasing both the availability of habitat suitable for the red squirrels and the opportunities for residents and visitors to engage with nature along the trail. 

Sarah Swindley, CEO Lake District Foundation, said “Teams of volunteers work really hard across the county to protect this amazing creature. Our role at the LDF is to connect people who love the landscape, wildlife and culture of the Lake District with effective conservation projects. We are delighted to be able to support these volunteers to continue their vital work, enabling red squirrels to thrive in Cumbria.” 

There is a continued need for squirrel food and conservation equipment to support the volunteers in their hard work, and you can support their efforts by donating now: 

Text “savereds” to 70085 to donate £5. This costs £5 plus a standard message rate, or visit https://www.lakedistrictfoundation.org/red-squirrel-campaign-2019-savereds/  

To report a red squirrel sighting please visit: www.northernredsquirrels.org.uk/report-sightings 

New Hedgerow Funding Available In Cumbria

A new fund is being launched by the Lake District Foundation in April for the protection and creation of native hedgerows in Cumbria. 

The Real Hedge Fund is made up of donations from businesses, visitors and residents who love the Lake District and want to help the cause of protecting native hedgerows and the wildlife that depends on them.  

The Lake District Foundation launched the fundraising initiative in June 2020 in partnership with Ullswater Catchment Management CIC, The Food, Farming and Countryside Commission, Cumbria Wildlife Trust, Woodland Trust and Eden Rivers Trust and now have £10,000 to award.   

The Fund will have two rounds with £5,000 available in each call. The first call will open 9am on Thursday 1st April 2021 and close 5pm on Friday 30th April 2021 and second call will be in September 2021. 

The Lake District Foundation and partners are looking for those who will use the Fund to purchase and plant native hedgerows between 50-100 metres, either double or singled fenced or those looking to restore native hedgerows using techniques such as “gapping up”. This is therefore aimed at individuals, SMEs businesses, small charities and community groups operating in Cumbria. 

Sarah Swindley, CEO, Lake District Foundation said: We are delighted to be able to open up this round following a successful campaign. The Real Hedge Fund aims to highlight the importance of hedgerows in the environment and the role within the cultural and natural heritage of the Lake District. The Fund has an ambitious target to plant 4,000 metres of native hedgerows across the Lake District and the money available is a fantastic first step to making this happen”.  

Applications will only be accepted if environmental value can be evidenced. Activity cannot be “doubled funded” and applicants will need to show that their proposal is not covered by an existing stewardship or grant funding scheme.

The application form and guidance can be found on the Lake District Foundation website, lakedistrictfoundation.org/apply-for-a-grant/.  Applications that meet the criteria will be reviewed by the grants panel, and shortlisted applicants may be invited to meet the panel virtually and discuss their project further. 

The campaign is still live, and you can still donate. To find out more about the Real Hedge Fund and to donate visit lakedistrictfoundation.org/the-real-hedge-fund/ 

Lake District Foundation Welcomes New Ambassador

The Lake District Foundation, the local charity caring for the Lake District, welcomes a new Ambassador, Lee Paton.  

Lee Paton is a bespoke couturier who has his own fashion house in London and is currently creating the first Couture fashion house in Cumbria. Lee is passionate about championing environmental sustainability in the fashion industry and through his new role as Ambassador at the Lake District Foundation.  

Lee grew up in Cumbria, trained at London College of Fashion, interned at Alexander McQueen and then worked on the famous London’s Savile Row.  

Lee launched his own fashion house in 2010. The brand’s work has been featured in many British and overseas publications such as Vogue Tatler Harper’s Bazaar InStyle Elle Robb Report and The Financial Times. Lee’s clients are generally high-profile individuals from elite sportsmen and sportswomen, well known musicians and actors to the members of several international royal families. 

Lee is currently moving his business to Cumbria and has aspirations to develop the first Cumbria couture fashion house. Lee hopes this will not only provide a wonderful opportunity to showcase what the area has to offer but also provide an opportunity to introduce visitors to other local crafts, businesses and industries. 

Lee Paton, Couture Designer and Lake District Foundation Business Ambassador, said: “It is my honour to represent the Lake District Foundation as Business Ambassador, allowing me to showcase the skills of the wonderful people, places and communities of England’s largest national park. With my background in an industry not usually associated with the region, I hope to offer a new perspective of what the Lake District has to offer and promote the Foundation through my work to new international audiences. Growing up close to the rugged fells and peaceful tarns I have always been passionate about the romance, history and heritage of the Lake District, fascinated by the stories from its past, many of which have inspired my work”. 

Lee currently works with several local Cumbrian farmers who exclusively provide Herdwick wool for him and he is planning his Spring 2022 collection to be made of Cumbrian fabrics only. Lee is a passionate advocate for traditional British craftsmanship and techniques and is keen to share local Cumbrian skills in his fashion house. 

Sarah Swindley, CEO, Lake District Foundation, said: “We are pleased to welcome Lee Paton as our new Business Ambassador alongside Dr Kate Rawles as our Environmental Ambassador, and Sean Conway as our Adventure Ambassador. Our Ambassadors help us spread the word about our cause and we are excited to work with Lee to reach a new audience and offer a new voice on the work we deliver and achieve. We are particularly keen to explore the connection between Lee’s work, the Lake District’s craft heritage and environmental sustainability. Welcome to the team Lee!” 

The Lake District Foundation works with businesses, visitors and other donors to support conservation, environmental and cultural heritage projects and programmes of work to help look after the Lake District National Park. 

Lee Paton, added: “The national park has been a place of creative motivation to historic artists of many forms and remains a region of immense inspiration through its remarkable beauty. The important work of the Lake District Foundation helps secure the future of a natural beauty that will continue to inspire generations for years to come and I am humbled to be able to play my part as a new addition to such a noble cause”. 

The Lake District Foundation is a registered charity and is governed by a board of volunteer trustees including prominent representatives from the environment, business and tourism sectors in the Lake District and Cumbria. 

You can find further information about Lee on his website leepaton.co.uk and further information about the Lake District Foundation at lakedistrictfoundation.org .  

Grants to Go Green for Cumbria

A number of schemes are currently being developed in the county as part of bold plans for Cumbria to achieve a net zero carbon economy, including a potential new grants scheme which will match-fund carbon reduction schemes with up to £20,000. 

That means businesses and constituted community groups could get financial support to help build a more sustainable, eco-friendly future post-COVID.  

The money could be used to introduce a wide variety of new green measures or equipment, with LED lighting, small hydro power and electric vehicle charging points just three brief examples. Cumbria-based businesses with some activity in the Lake District National Park will be eligible, with applications expected to open this March. 

To find out more about accessing these potential new fundsyou can sign up to a free webinar here at 1pm on Thursday 4 March. This bitesize session will include practical information from the Low Carbon Lake District team, alongside inspiration from businesses who have already successfully introduced new measures to help reduce their carbon footprint.  

Interested businesses can also be notified when funds are open for applications by registering for the Lake District’s grant newsletter here

Lake District Foundation Welcomes New Trustee

The Lake District Foundation, the local charity caring for the Lake District, welcomes a new trustee to the board, Alice Forrester.  

Alice is a qualified ACA Chartered Accountant with the ICAEW and currently works as the Financial Accountant at Manchester Metropolitan University. Alice’s role at the University has provided her with the experience of preparing accounts for a large charitable organisation, as well as an insight into the different challenges affecting the higher education sector. 

Alice grew up in Cumbria and loves to spend time outdoors, in particular running and cycling. Although based in Manchester now, Alice continues to travel up to the Lake District and Cumbria for days and weekends away, when Covid rules allow.  

Alice Forrester, Lake District Foundation Trustee and Financial Accountant at Manchester Metropolitan University, said: “I am passionate about the environment and I am excited to have the opportunity to be part of an organisation which is committed to sustainable development and maintaining our natural environment. I look forward to bringing my accounting skills and knowledge of the local area to the Board of Trustees”. 

The Lake District Foundation works with businesses, visitors and other donors to support conservation, environmental and cultural heritage projects and programmes of work to help look after the Lake District National Park.  

Gill Houston, Lake District Foundation’s Chair, said: “We are delighted to welcome Alice as a new trustee to the Lake District Foundation. Alice’s enthusiasm for protecting and caring for our natural world and her background of managing accounts for a large charity is a perfect fit for us. We are looking forward to working with Alice to drive our environmental goals forward”

The Lake District Foundation is a registered charity and is governed by a board of volunteer trustees including prominent representatives from the environment, business and tourisms sectors in the Lake District and Cumbria.  

The Lake District Foundation are always keen to hear from individuals interested in joining the board, if you are interested send an email to [email protected].   

Continued Support From Local Businesses

The Lake District Foundation, the local charity caring for the Lake District, extends an extra thank-you to businesses for their continued support during the pandemic.  

The charity works with businesses, visitors and other donors to support conservation, environmental and cultural heritage projects and programmes of work that help us work together to look after our amazing National Park. 

The Lake District Foundation currently works with over 150 businesses who fundraise with and support the charity. There are many ways businesses can do this from branded products, visitor donations at booking and lots of events that connect with businesses and customers. Most businesses supporting the charity are in the tourism industry and have been hit hard with the impact of covid. However, despite the challenges presented, the businesses have continued to find ways to fundraise  and are helping us to look after the natural world.  

Sarah Swindley, Lake District Foundation’s CEO said, The full impact of the Covid 19 is evident to all of us However, we have also 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 see our natural heritage as key to a sustainable, green and inclusive recovery. Even though people can’t visit now we know that the love of the Lake District will endure. A massive thank you to all our business supporters and donors who have stuck by us and want to be part of this future. We would like to extend a special thank you to Langdale Estates, TreeTop Treks, Lakes Distillery, Lake District Estates and Heart of the Lakes, to name but a few!” 

The Langdale Estate, a luxury hotel and five-star self-catering, in the Langdale Valley have continued to donate during the pandemic.  

Dan Viser, Marketing Director, Langdale Estate, explains: “We provide an annual donation and raise money via an opt out fundraising approach here at the Langdale Estate. We are proud to have raised over £260,000 for the Lake District Foundation since 2008. Our efforts over the years have allowed for local footpaths to be repaired, we’ve supported various environmental projects and our efforts have contributed to making the Lake District more accessible, safer and even more beautiful for those to explore. Even though we haven’t welcomed as many guests over the last year, we still feel it’s incredibly important to continue our annual donation to protect and care for the national park for today and the future”. 

Another fundraising approach the Lake District Foundation uses is the ‘Opt In’ scheme where a voluntary donation can be added when booking online or in person. A mechanism proven popular with TreeTop Trek customers. However, despite restricted visitor numbers and business closures due to lockdowns they have continued to support the charity.  

Mike Turner, Owner, TreeTop Trek, explains: “In an increasingly online and cashless society we decided to add an integrated donation function added to our online booking system which would encourage and enable visitor to support the Lake District Foundation. Sadly, the huge drop in visitor numbers this year has resulted in a drop in revenues for both business and charities alike.  We were particularly inspired by the LDF latest local small grant fund campaign and were therefore delighted to be able to top up this years visitor giving as our own way of trying to give a little back to local communities which have been so badly affected by the pandemic”. 

In normal times the charity works with a number of businesses who hold events throughout the year to raise funds from gala dinners to coffee mornings, and any proceeds raised would go to the Lake District Foundation. Public gatherings have been paused due to the pandemic but that hasn’t stopped one of the charity’s business supporters from getting creative to continue their fundraising efforts. This resulted in The Lakes Distillery, based in Bassenthwaite, holding a virtual event in December and raising £525.  

The Lake District Foundation are continuing to find new ways of working during the pandemic and liaising closely with all business supporters, partners and donors to continue their fundraising efforts.  

To find out more information about becoming a business supporter, click here.

Carbon Monoxide: Raising Awareness

The Lake District Foundation will be delivering a project to raise awareness about Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning and safe visits to the countryside. The project is funded by Northern Gas who deliver gas to 2.7 million homes and businesses in the North East, Northern Cumbria and much of Yorkshire, and are committed to supporting the environment and local community.

Northern Gas are working hard to become a cleaner, greener business – reducing waste in their daily operations, and gearing up for a low carbon, sustainable future – targeting their daily operations to be net-zero by 2031. Before working with any business or organization we always follow our Working with Businesses Policy

Given that we are seeing a significant increase in the number of first-time visitors to the Lake District National Park and visitors who are new to camping and cooking in confined spaces it is likely that they are not aware of the risks of CO, which could have devastating effects on individuals but also local communities and businesses.

This project will provide important and potentially life-saving information to visitors and residents of the Lake District and Cumbria, and we anticipate that the lessons learned in this pilot project in the Lake District and Cumbria will be transferrable to other destinations.

The first stage of the project is to find out more about the current levels of awareness of the sources and risks of Carbon Monoxide poisoning amongst residents and visitors. If you would like to help to shape the campaign, and be in with a chance of winning a Hydroflask water bottle please take part in our short survey here.

In addition to the campaign, the LDF will be supporting Northern Gas to raise awareness of the priority Service Register. The Priority Services Register is a free service provided by suppliers and network operators, which enables vulnerable customers to receive extra support such as free gas safety checks and priority services in case of an incident.

The Lake District Foundation is excited to deliver this campaign that will enable more people to enjoy the Lake District and experience the health benefits that accessing nature and wild spaces brings.

Latest Funding Scheme Announced

The Lake District Foundation, the local conservation charity, is launching their latest grant funding initiative in February.  

The Lake District Foundation is looking to support effective projects that share the charity’s goal; that the Lake District and Cumbria will be an inspirational example of sustainable development in action, to support a prosperous local economy, world-class visitor experiences and in a place where vibrant communities come together to sustain its spectacular landscape, wildlife and cultural heritage. 

The next call for applications will open 9am on Monday 1st February 2021. The charity is offering grants of up to £500 to projects being delivered in Cumbria, and in this round the charity is particularly interested in supporting community and volunteer-led groups delivering practical conservation, ideally with a youth focus. 

Sarah Swindley, Lake District Foundation’s CEO said, “It’s great to be sharing good news! We are thrilled to open up this round of funding, especially during this unusual time. We hope that this funding will amplify the amazing community work that takes place in our county. Thank-you to all the Cumbrian businesses and visitors who help to make this funding available. The full application criteria can be found on our website but I would like to say we are open to creative and innovative ideas that have a measurable and sustainable impact. Good luck everyone!”. 

The grant funding is available to charitable organisations such as village halls, youth groups or playgroups (your group does not have to be a registered charity), social enterprises and conservation agencies.  

The application form and guidance can be found on the Lake District Foundation’s website. Applications that meet the criteria will be reviewed by the grants panel, and shortlisted applicants may be invited to meet the panel virtually and discuss their project further. 

The Lake District Foundation’s last round of funding gave support to nine projects including the `Bee Hide’ Project at Heron Hill School, and `Farming with Nature’ from Ullswater Catchment CIC, and these projects have delivered impressive outcomes for the wildlife, landscapes and cultural heritage of Cumbria and the Lake District. 

The deadline for applications for this round is extended to Monday 1st March 2021 5pm and all details can be found at lakedistrictfoundation.org/apply-for-a-grant/



The Lake District Foundation, the local conservation charity, is spearheading a fundraising campaign, The Real Hedge Fund, to conserve and reinstate native hedgerows.  

The charity participated in the UK’s biggest match funding challenge in December, The Big Give Christmas Challenge and successfully raised £14,000 for the campaign. 

Sarah Swindley, Lake District Foundation’s CEO said, Thank you to everyone who donated during The Big Give week in December. A special thanks to The Cedar Manor Hotel, The Wild Hart, Restore Our Planet, Tern Trust, Lake District Estates, Victrix and the Hedge and Woodland Conservationists who pledged their support to help kick start the campaign.  I am delighted to share with you that the funds raised will enable 560 metres of native hedgerows to be planted across the Lake District. Thank you.” 

The Lake District Foundation received a pledge from a conservation group based in East Berkshire who had recently completed planting hedgerows on the Crown Estate and donated some of their funds to the Big Give Christmas Challenge for the Real Hedge Fund campaign. 

Christopher Kersley, Hedge and Woodland Conservationists (HAWCS) said: “HAWCs is a small group of local enthusiasts affiliated to the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers and to the British Hedgelaying Society. We aim to keep the ancient crafts of hedgelaying and coppicing alive, to conserve and maintain hedgerows, woodlands, and rights of way for the benefit of the public and the wildlife and educate the public in the principles and practice of nature conservation. We were delighted to support the Real Hedge Fund campaign as it’s such a wonderful cause and in line with our aims as a conservation group.”   

You can view further information about HAWCS on their website: www.hawc.org.uk

The Real Hedge Fund campaign aims to highlight the importance of hedgerows in the environment and the role within the cultural and natural heritage of the Lake District. The campaign has an ambitious target to plant 4,000 metres of native hedgerows across the Lake District and aims to raise £100,000 to make this happen. 

The Lake District Foundation launched the campaign in June 2020 in partnership with Ullswater Catchment Management CIC, The Food, Farming and Countryside Commission, Cumbria Wildlife Trust, Woodland Trust and Eden Rivers Trust.  

The campaign is still live, and you can still donate. To find out more about the Real Hedge Fund and to donate visit lakedistrictfoundation.org/the-real-hedge-fund/ 



The Lake District Foundation, the local conservation charity, are celebrating after the recent opening of the much-loved Keswick to Threlkeld Railway Trail has proven a hit.

The trail reopened due to a successful six-month (K2T) community fundraising campaign in 2018 to help reinstate the path. 

The 10km return route from Keswick to Threlkeld has been well used over the Christmas and New Year break, welcoming runners, cyclists, walkers and multi-users . 

The reopening was made possible by the donations received during the campaign from individuals, local business and support from Highways England, the European Structural and Investment Funds and the Local Enterprise Partnership, the new, accessible route is opened on Saturday 5th December 2020, it was on the 5th anniversary of Storm Desmond.    

Following the floods in December 2015, the Keswick to Threlkeld Railway path suffered serious damage. Two of the old railway bridges that crossed the River Greta and around 200 metres of the path surface were washed away, and Rawsome Bridge was left at risk of collapse. 

Sarah Swindley, the Lake District Foundation’s CEO, said:The community fundraising campaign raised an incredible £130,000. We were thrilled to have had so much support from the local community, businesses, residents, visitors and organisations; everyone played their part to make it happen. We would like to say a huge thank-you to everyone who donated during the campaign. We are looking forward to the opening this Saturday and for everyone to enjoy the new path for years to come.” 

Local businesses boosted the fundraising campaign considerably including a generous donation from HF Holidays. One of their country houses, Derwent Bank, is situated close to the path where several walking routes from the house were are affected by the damage caused by Storm Desmond. HF Holidays donated £20,000 to the campaign. 

Hannah Garcia, HF Holidays, said: “HF Holidays was delighted to be able to contribute the £20,000 donation from the HF Pathways Fund to the Keswick to Threlkeld Railway Path Restoration, and be able to support the valuable work that has taken place; enabling our guests and walking community to continue to enjoy the fantastic routes and experiences this location offers.”   

The fundraising campaign saw donation boxes and promotional materials displayed in 72 local businesses and many of these carried out additional fundraising events including quiz nights, selling special products, and taking part in the K2T 5k challenge. 

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. 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 Lodore Falls Hotel & Spa kindly donated the venue, canapes, reception drinks and £20 per booking to the campaign. 

Members of the public donated 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 on his challenge to walk the full route of the old railway from Penrith station to the former Keswick station. 

For further information about the trail visit the Lake District National Park website http://www.lakedistrict.gov.uk  


The Lake District Foundation, the local conservation charity, is spearheading a fundraising campaign to reinstate and conserve native hedgerows. The charity is participating in The Big Give Christmas Challenge, a match funding initiative enabling donations to be doubled for one week in December. 

The Christmas Challenge launched by the founder of The Big Give, philanthropist Sir Alec Reed CBE in 2008, is the biggest match funding campaign in the UK. It offers supporters of participating charities, like the Lake District Foundation, the opportunity to have their donation doubled for seven days from 1st – 8th December 2020. 

Sarah Swindley, Lake District Foundation’s, CEO said, “We need to raise £7,000 to unlock the match funding available in the Big Give Christmas Challenge for the Lake District Foundation. The fact that any donation made will be doubled during this week is incredible, so we do hope everyone can dig deep and donate. A small donation will make a huge difference, thank you!” 

The Real Hedge Fund campaign aims to highlight the importance of hedgerows in the environment and the role within the cultural and natural heritage of the Lake District. The campaign has an ambitious target to plant 4,000 metres of native hedgerows across the Lake District and aims to raise £100,000 to make this happen. 

The Lake District Foundation launched the campaign in June 2020 in partnership with Ullswater Catchment Management CIC, Food, Farming and Countryside Commission, Cumbria Wildlife Trust, Woodland Trust and Eden Rivers Trust. 

The Christmas Challenge 2020 will take place from 12pm on 1st December 2020 until 12pm on 8th December 2020, to make a donation visit : https://donate.thebiggive.org.uk/campaign/a051r00001exMK1AAM  and to find out more the Real Hedge Fund visit https://www.lakedistrictfoundation.org/the-real-hedge-fund/ 


The Lake District Foundation, has launched a virtual adventure evening to raise funds for Fix the Fells.   

The fundraiser is called ‘Why we adventure…’ hosted by Sean Conway, one of the charities’ Ambassadors and will be streamed on Thursday 10th December at 7.30pm. The virtual event will see exclusive videos from leading explorers, climbers, runners, cyclists, paddleboarders, kayakers and photographers delving into why they adventure and a series of special Q&A’s with each speaker, led by Sean Conway. 

Sean Conway, Ambassador, Lake District Foundation, said: “I’m proud to be an Ambassador for the Lake District Foundation and excited to host the adventure evening for Fix the Fells. The night is going to explore why we feel the need to still take on adventures, when practically every mountain has been climbed, ocean rowed, and desert crossed. The line-up is a great mix, from climbers, paddleboarders to photographers. Massive thank you to all of the speakers who are giving up their time for a good cause! It’s going to be a fun night; I hope you can join us.” 

The speakers have been to all corners of the world and each has a different perspective on why they adventure. The line-up includes Kenton Cool, Leo Holding, Mohammed Dhalech, Anna McNuff, Lizzie Carr, Simon Yates, Gwilym Pugh, James Forrest, Pip Stewart, Jamie MacDonald, Dave Cornthwaite and Kaite-Jane L’herpiniere. The event is a series of coordinated conversations recorded over the last couple of months. It therefore won’t be live, so the Lake District Foundation are encouraging those who book and have burning questions for any of the speakers to send them in now to [email protected]

In addition to the headline speakers, Richard Fox from Fix the Fells will also share an insight into what Fix the Fells do and why the Lake District Foundation is calling for your support.  

Richard Fox, Fix the Fells, said: “Fix the Fells raises funds to repair and maintain the extensive network of upland paths across the Lake District for the present and future generations to enjoy. The money raised from this event will support our volunteers, without whom we wouldn’t be able to carry out the work we do. So, enjoy the evening, donate £8 and you can help make a difference in our beautiful fells. Thank you!” 

The early bird ticket rate is £8 per household until 30th November then the price is £10. Tickets can be booked online and details of the speakers can be found at lakedistrictfoundation.org/why-we-adventure.  

Our annual report April 2019 – March 2020

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. 




Swifts in the Community – Project Update

Thanks to generous donations received by LDF, we were able to support `Swifts in the Community’. A project made up of enthusiastic volunteers who monitor the numbers of nesting swifts, which sadly are in decline partly due to modern building design. Fortunately, survey work has been able to continue throughout the Covid-19 pandemic with volunteers carrying out their monitoring whilst observing social distancing rules. However, planned educational talks and presentations have had to go on hold for the time being.

“The grant money has enabled us to purchase nesting boxes which are being used in areas where there are only a small number of known nest sites. These small groups of birds are very vulnerable to disturbance as they are likely to desert an area if something stops their successful breeding. By providing nesting boxes in strategic locations it is hoped that more swifts will be attracted to the vicinity helping to preserve their presence.  

Unfortunately, due to the pandemic we have been unable to hold our planned educational visits to local schools. This has been particularly disappointing as Crosthwaite school has swifts nesting in the school building. However, during the autumn/winter we will update our leaflets and printed material ready to distribute when circumstances allow.

We would like to thank LDF for supporting our project. It is thanks to their funding that we are able to continue to support the Swifts in our Community.”

To ensure that more projects like this can continue, please DONATE to the Lake District Foundation, your support really does make a difference.


Get Coniston buzzing – Project Update on this exciting project to reintroduce wildflower meadow in Coniston.

Thanks to generous donations to the Lake District Foundation, we made a grant to Coniston Wildflower Meadow project in December last year. With wildflower meadows in serious decline, this project seeks to turn a green space in the centre of Coniston into a beautiful wildflower meadow with information boards explaining the benefits for wildlife and species including bees and other pollinators.

Despite the unforeseen restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, planting of the new wildflower meadow has taken place earlier this month and all the signs are looking good for pollinators in Coniston.

“Our plans were to complete the meadow in May, but unfortunately Covid-19 restrictions meant we had to put this back until late summer. Fortunately, we were able to prepare the ground for planting in September and planted half of the area in wildflower turf and half with seeds to compare the results for future projects. Within a couple of hours of planting the turf bees were already attracted to the area. Surely a good sign for things to come!

The local secondary school have been involved too, carrying out a quadrant survey of the area prior to planting and with the help of a local expert they will continue to study the area next year. An information board is being created by a local artist highlighting the importance of wildflower meadows and a small fence will be erected around the site.

We are extremely grateful to the Lake District Foundation for their support and hope that our project will encourage others to create their very own wildflower meadow.”

To ensure that more projects like this can continue, please DONATE to the Lake District Foundation, your support really does make a difference.


New business supporter: The Lost Compass

We are delighted to announce a new partnership between the Lake District Foundation and The Lost Compass, a new UK based company, supplying 100% eco-friendly and sustainable apparel and clothing.

The Lost Compass is a family business, based in Cheshire, UK and is run by Jade and Jack and was founded in 2018. The Lost Compass aims to provide a clothing brand that is substantially less harmful to the environment; provides a Fairtrade and ethical product lifecycle; transforms the mind-set of clothing consumers towards carbon neutral alternatives and celebrates all that is fantastic about the UK’s countryside.

We are delighted that Jade and Jack have chosen to donate 5% of sales of their organic cotton Scafell and the Herdwick Sheep t-shirts to the Lake District Foundation, it is so exciting to be working with a company that considers the environment in every aspect of their productions and sales.

In addition to their environmental credentials, all of the printing and embroidery is completed in the UK, thus supporting British businesses.

Jade says “We want to be able to give something back to a country that has provided us with so many fond memories. Therefore being able to donate some of our profits to our National Parks, fulfils our ambition to help sustain this beautiful country we call home.

For us at The Lost Compass it is very simple… Explore our World, Sustain our Home and Enjoy Every Minute.”

To read more about their story and to purchase their fantastic products, visit www.thelostcompassltd.co.uk

And if you would like to find out more about supporting the Lake District Foundation in your business, and to read about the impact of donations, take a look here or get in touch.


Orrest Head Fundraising Campaign Raises £38,000

A local conservation charity, the Lake District Foundation and the Lake District National Park are celebrating raising over £38,000 for the Orrest Head accessibility improvement project. 

The fundraising campaign launched last autumn aims is create an alternative path to the summit of Orrest Head making it suitable for people with limited mobility, including people with powered-wheelchairs and families with pushchairs to see this spectacular viewpoint. 

Donations for the project have been building over the last year but this week the fundraising campaign was successful in securing £5,000 from the TransPennine Express Transform Grants Fund: a community fund supporting projects that tackle youth unemployment, promote social inclusion and improve the environment. 

Steve Tonkin, Lake District Foundation, said: “We are over the moon with this award from the Transform Grants Fund. It’s helped reach over £38,000 mark! We have an ambitious target of raising £50,000 in total but know with the support and generous donations from visitors and locals we can do it. You can make a donation today on our website, lakedistrictfoundation.org.” 

The Lake District Foundation is working alongside the Lake District National Park, Windermere Town Council and South Lakeland District Council to drive this fundraising campaign forward. The plan is to restore a section of Victorian carriage drive and create an accessible path to the viewpoint, improve the water drainage and restore the eroded summit landscape, replace the worn-out seating, provide more information about the area and the view. The project also hopes to provide an all-terrain Lake District Mobility scooter for people to borrow to get to the viewpoint.

Marian Jones, Area Ranger, Lake District National Park said: “Covid 19 has had an impact on our project plans so we are now aiming to complete the project by December 2021, but this depends having the necessary funding in place. This project aims to help more people enjoy and appreciate the view from Orrest Head by creating improved, sustainable access to the summit. It is a project about people – removing barriers, providing opportunity, increasing understanding and building relationships. Thank you for your support.” 

You can make a donation on the Lake District Foundation website by visiting lakedistrictfoundation.org.

A Bed for Bees – Project Update from the Bee Hide Project

Thanks to generous donations to the Lake District Foundation, we made grant to the Community Bee Hide Project in Kendal in December 2019. We got in touch with the Bee Team to find out how they are doing and how the Coronavirus Pandemic has impacted their plans.

“As you can imagine, Covid has unfortunately put the lid on many of our community plans for this year. However, the ‘Bee Hide’ is almost finished, only the internals to finish including the installation of an exciting ‘observation’ hive, which will enable our community visitors a view of the bees all year round.

We have installed a ‘Bee Bed’ an accessible raised bed planted up with bee & pollinator friendly plants, along with a large information ID board, we hope to teach children, young people and members of the community about ‘what bees need’ and how they can engage in wildlife by planting for bees & other pollinators. Covid allowing, we will be running this out for community groups next year.

This year, as so many of our youngsters have missed out on their beekeeping, we have run several ‘Bee Summer School’ sessions which have been oversubscribed and a huge success! The children have learnt not just about honeybees and beekeeping, but solitary bees, their habitats, nesting habits and what they can do at home to help provide habitat & forage for them. These sessions really came to life as we have a ‘solitary bee village’ a collection of various nesting boxes for bees, many with observation panels, so the children and visitors can see exactly how these amazing bees create their nests! 

Our large plot of wildflowers planted by the children has been a huge success this year, so it is sad we have not had many visitors with Covid restrictions. But the bees and wildlife have loved it and it has been an incredible teaching resource for us.

We rare so grateful for the grant which has enabled us to deliver the apiary & Bee Hide. It has been an amazing project see develop and even with the unprecendented restrictions in place, it is already proving a huge success!  Broadening the knowledge, enthusing and developing beekeeping skills of not only our young people, but the many visitors to the apiary.

Thank you so much for your support and sharing our vision for the apiary as a community resource.”

To ensure that more projects like this can continue, please DONATE to the Lake District Foundation, your support really does make a difference.


The Climbers Shop welcomes back customers safely

The Climbers Shop in Ambleside have opened their doors again and are excited to be back up and running. With over 100 years of retail heritage they are incredibly proud to offer a huge choice of clothing and equipment for climbers, mountaineers, hillwalkers and trail runners for use in the Lake District and beyond!

The Climbers Shop is one of the Foundation 150 business supporters who either fundraise for the charity or make a donation. They have reopened their doors again and looking forward to fundraising for the Foundation. Cathy, the shop Manager, tell us their story of reopening….

“It’s taken a little time to adapt to business unusual but our staff have been fully involved in how we re-open our shop as safely as we can. We are all loving being back at work again, welcoming customers old and new through our doors and catching up with friendly faces to see how everyone has fared during lockdown. One of our team made re-useable facemasks so staff have at least two each – if you look carefully you’ll see they have a walking boot lace for a strap which is certainly a lot more comfortable than elastic behind the ears!

Our re-opening has been phased so that we have been able to offer private appointments to customers who are concerned about coming into a busy shop environment but on our fully open days we regularly manage the number of customers in the shop at any one time in line with social distancing guidance. We also close for lunch for an hour so that our staff can take a proper break outside if they wish and to allow for extra cleaning throughout the day.  

          From the outset we put an enhanced cleaning regime into place which, along with hand sanitizers on entry, daily disinfectant sprays and quarantining clothing that has been tried on all adds up to making our shop environment as safe as we can make it. 

               It’s a continual learning curve for all of us as we all have to take responsibility for stopping the spread of Coronavirus but importantly, it has also created some great discussions among the management team about how we can use lockdown almost as a re-set for how we make daily decisions within our business and how they can impact the wellbeing of our staff, our customers, our local community, local environment and climate change as a whole. Last year was our 60th anniversary and we used that as a launch pad to embark on a more sustainable path resulting in over £35,000 in donations to local charities such as Fix The Fells, Mountain Rescue and Community Action Nepal. By working with local charity Brathay to launch the Ambleside Trail 60 Ultra Marathon we succeeded in creating a fantastic event which not only showcased some of the best scenery the Lake District has to offer but also food from some of our fabulous local hotels and café’s. 

               This autumn we plan to build on the valuable information provided at The Lake District Foundations free Green Business Initiative by measuring the carbon footprint of our whole business and ensuring that whatever the winter season may bring, the health of our staff, customers and the environment remain at the heart of our business decisions since this Spring and summer have proved how intrinsically linked we all are.”

               “We are very proud to support The Lake District Foundation by pledging 50p from every sale of our branded Nalgene Water Bottles so they can continue their vital work in protecting the beautiful, unique, fragile, World Heritage Site that we love.”

The Climbers Shop

Cumbria Hedgerow Campaign Receives Donation Boost

A fundraising campaign aiming to raise £100,000 to create and reinstate 4,000 metres of native hedgerows in the Lake District has received a generous boost from the Woodland Trust. 
The Lake District Foundation, Ullswater Catchment Management CIC, Food, Farming and Countryside Commission, Cumbria Wildlife Trust and Eden Rivers Trust launched the Real Hedge Fund in June 2020. The campaign aims to highlight the importance of hedgerows in the environment, the role within the cultural and natural heritage of the Lake District and to replant native hedgerows where these have been removed. 

The Real Hedge Fund campaign has had a fantastic start with 180 metres of new native hedges donated by the Woodland Trust, which equates to a financial donation of £4,500.  

Sarah Swindley, Lake District Foundation’s, CEO said, “We’ve hit the ground running thanks to the Woodland Trust. A huge thank-you to them for leading the way with a superb donation. We have an ambitious plan to plant 4,000 metres of native hedgerow, which costs around £25 per metre to manage and plant across Cumbria and we need your help. We want you to see nature as the best investment with the highest return!”  

The local conservation charity, Lake District Foundation, is encouraging everyone to get involved by making a donation from £25 per metre. All information can be found at lakedistrictfoundation.org.  

Julia Aglionby, University of Cumbria’s Professor in Practice, said: Since the second world war we have lost over half our hedges, that is over 250,000 miles of hedges and many that are remaining are in poor condition. Hedges are great, they provide food for birds and insects, they are refuges for wildflowers and contain multiple species of trees and shrubs. As importantly they reduce flooding by slowing run off, store carbon and act as corridors for wildlife across more intensively managed farmland. From a farming perspective they are good too, providing sheltered boundaries which as a farmer I know are invaluable in stormy weather.  The Real Hedge Fund campaign is an opportunity to make a difference and raise vital awareness, so we hope you get involved and support us. Thank-you.” 
The charity will also be running a larger crowdfunding appeal later in the year through the national Big Give platform. It is the leading online match funder which brings charities, philanthropists and the public together to multiply their impact. The crowdfunding appeal will support the Real Hedge Fund campaign, the charity is looking for a small number of donors to help them kick start this appeal from businesses to individuals.  If you would be interested in getting involved, get in touch with the Lake District Foundation either by email, [email protected] or telephone 01539 822622. 

To make a donation to the Real Hedge Fund and for further information visit https://www.lakedistrictfoundation.org/the-real-hedge-fund/

We’ve hit the ground running thanks to the Woodland Trust. A huge thank-you to them for leading the way with a superb donation.

Sarah Swindley, Lake District Foundation’s, CEO

Conquer Lake District donate over £2,000

Conquer Lake District are a local business with a passion for the outdoors and believe it is their responsibility to promote, protect and preserve our incredible National Park. Their beautifully designed patches and gifts are eye catching and make the perfect keepsake for treasured memories of a Lake District visit. If you haven’t yet seen their products, take a look here

Conquer Lake District partnered with the Lake District Foundation in January 2019, and decided to donate 5% from every single product that they sold, both on line and in their 40 stockists, raising an impressive £2,013.41 in one year.  They also donated T shirts to the Lake District Foundation for raffle prizes, enabling even more funds to be raised, and designed a beautiful bespoke patch for the Lake District Foundation to give their new supporters as a thank you gift. 

Owner and Founder Caroline saysThrough our quality goods we aim to inspire people to have fun and celebrate the adventure whilst also caring for our majestic and delicate landscape. 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.” 

The funds raised by Conquer Lake District will be used to care for the spectacular wildlife, landscape and cultural heritage of the Lake District and provided financial support to small but effective projects, see some examples here

Sarah Smith, LDF Operations Manager, saysIt is so important that we are able to partner with a local and sustainable businesses whose values align with ours. At the Lake District Foundation, we consider the impact of everything that we do, so it is fantastic to be able to work with a sustainable company like Conquer Lake District. Their support makes a huge difference.” 

Caroline adds, “We believe in making quality products that connect people with the projects that care for our majestic yet delicate National Park. It is wonderful to see people returning to the Lake District and enjoying the great outdoors following the Coronavirus restrictions, and we are proud that we can help them to give something back too.” 

Staying safe at the Langdale Hotel

The Foundation works with over 150 business supporters who either fundraise for the charity or make a donation. The businesses have been busy preparing to re-open safely at the start of July following Visit Britain guidelines.  

The Langdale has been a true champion and valued business supporter for the Lake District Foundation. They’ve re-opened their doors with their ‘Good to Go’ accreditation from Visit Britain and excited to welcome visitors back. Dan Visser, from the Langdale Team, share how they’ve reopened safely: 

‘We continue to work hard and have the safety and welfare of our guests, staff and the local community at the heart of everything we do.  Following the very latest Government guidelines, we have implemented a range of new procedures for check-in and check-out, housekeeping, dining and how guests are able to enjoy themselves and get the most from their time with us.

Due to Government legislation Brimstone spa remain closed for the foreseeable future. 

1 – Checking In and Checking Out

When checking in and checking out there will be a number of options for the way you can arrive, depart and access your accommodation to keep everyone safe and distanced set out below.

2 – Cleaning


All accommodation at Langdale is cleaned to the highest possible standard.  Additional attention will be paid to certain areas to keep everyone safe.

3 – Contactless Payment

Cash will no longer be accepted across the site including Wainwrights Inn. Guests staying on site will be able to charge to their room and pay on departure (see above) or use any form of contactless payment.

Ordering food and drinks can be done from your own mobile device.

4 – Spa and Fitness & Leisure

Unfortunately, due to the government’s latest guidelines we are not able to open Brimstone spa, but will as soon as we’re able to.  However, the Langdale Fitness & Leisure facilities are now open with restricted access and on a booking only system

5 – Restaurants and Bars

Both Stove Restaurant & Bar and Wainwrights’ Inn are open with reduced capacity to maintain social distance and only offer table service.

6 – Communications

We are pretty good with the elimination of paper at Langdale and this is a great time to go all the way. Before your stay all information will be sent by email at least twice. 

7 – Staff and Partners

Our team have all been trained in new ways of working in order to keep themselves and everyone who visits Langdale safe. 

We’re also working alongside a number of trusted partners such as Ecolab our chemical specialists who provide all our WHO recommended cleaning products which are used site-wide.  We’re also making sure that partners and suppliers own Risk Assessments and practices dovetail with our own. 

8 – Cancellation Policy

Langdale Hotel

At Langdale we have always tried to be as fair as possible on each and every situation where someone needs to cancel a booking. Our best available rate can be cancelled up to 24 hours prior to arrival.  

Langdale Self Catering

We will always do our best to find a solution which is fair to both the bookers and our clients the accommodation owners. Where a government restriction on travel exists refunds will be given

9 – The Future

No one knows what the future holds ….it’s an age-old cliché, but seems to be more true than ever right now.  One thing is for certain, we will be here to offer the best (and safest) possible experience for you whilst you’re visiting the Lake District.

Rothay Manor is open for business and Covid ready

The Foundation works with over 150 business supporters who either fundraise for the charity or make a donation. The businesses have been busy preparing to re-open safely at the start of July following Visit Britain guidelines.  

Rothay Manor Country House Hotel is one of the finest luxury Lake District hotels in Ambleside the heart of the Lake District. Rothay Manor have been a business supporter since 2019.

Jenna Shail, Owner of Rothay Manor, explains how Covid has impacted the business but they have taken steps to open their doors safely.

How has lockdown affected you? 

“It’s obviously been extremely difficult from a business point of view.  To have no takings for 4 months is going to hit any business hard!  We kept ourselves busy painting the entire outside of the hotel, including window frames…which turned out to be quite a big job!!  But, the painting gave us a daily focus, which was great!”

Would you mind sharing your re-opening strategy? 

“We carried out a full risk -assessment, all of our staff are certified in covid-19 knowledge, and we have implemented new procedures throughout the whole hotel.  It’s been difficult for the business, as lots of new items have had to be purchased to ensure our covid-19 safety, but  I think we are now through the worst of it, and getting back to a new normal!”

How important is looking after the Lake District now and in the future?

“So important, it has been heart-braking to see how many people dis-respected the area when lockdown was lifted.  I’m a keen outdoor person, and appreciate the beauty of our area, and don’t like to see it spoilt by people’s laziness!! 

Not only is the area important for my business, but also important to me personally, which is why we joined the Lake District Foundation…to try to do our bit!”

Would you like to share anything further about the impact on your business?

“From a personal point of view it was lovely to have the Lake District so peaceful, and we felt very privileged to live in such a beautiful place!”

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