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Help us understand Forest Futures impact

The Lake District Foundation is looking for a consultant to evaluate the impact of our Forest Futures project. 

Working in partnership with Cumbria Woodlands, we were awarded funding to continue and develop the restoration of ecologically important woodlands in the Thirlmere Valley, Cumbria.

Funding came from The Green Recovery Challenge Fund and is being delivered over 18 months (ending in March 2023).

Forest Futures is restoring woodlands and growing skills. The project carries out vital restoration work on the ground at Thirlmere and provides advice on woodland creation and management to landowners / managers.

It also encourages and develops Graduate Foresters to take their first steps on their career pathway and to help deliver the Government’s bold targets around woodland creation. 

An independent evaluation of Forest Futures is needed to assess its initial impact, effectiveness of achieving intended goals, identify elements of best practice and highlight areas of challenge.

How to tender for Evaluation Report

The Tender brief is here. 

Deadline for Tender responses is 22 July 2022.

Help us understand carbon scheme impact

A major £2.3m project to cut carbon in the Lake District is looking for a consultant to assess its impact.

The Low Carbon Lake District Fund is a comprehensive programme to help tackle climate change working in partnership with local businesses and communities.

Delivered by The Lake District Foundation, the Fund is led by the Lake District National Park Authority, other key partners include the National Trust, South Lakeland District Council and Cumbria Tourism.

The 47 projects funded so far include solar PV, air source heat pumps, insulation, LED lighting and energy management systems.

Embleton Spa Hotel (pictured above) received a food composter which is reducing waste going to landfill.

Rookhow Quaker Meeting House – a 300-year-old community facility in the Lyth Valley benefitted from an air source heat pump as part of its redevelopment and re-opening (pictured below).

The Low Carbon Lake District Fund opened for applications in April 2021 and will be completed by March 2023.

At the half-way point the Lake District Foundation seeks a consultant for an Evaluation Report.

The report would help us understand the impact of the project, identify areas for improvement, and articulate key outcomes that may be useful for further projects.

How to tender for Evaluation Report

The tender brief is here.

Find out more about the Low Carbon Lake District Fund

Deadline for Tender responses is 16 June.

Historic house cuts carbon thanks to grant

The amazing Rookhow Quaker Meeting House in the Rusland Valley is almost 300-years-old and is being brought back to its former glory.

The Grade II* listed building secured around £15,550 from the Low Carbon Lake District Grants Scheme to install an air source heat pump (ASHP).

The Lake District Foundation was delighted to support this as it will improve comfort levels in the building, protect its fabric and reduce carbon footprint.

Rookhow’s redevelopment has been made possible by several trusts and individuals who have funded this fantastic project.

We visited recently to check on developments with Sue Nicholls, Rookhow Development Manager.

From May 2022 Rookhow will be open to the public on first and third Friday of every month 10am-4pm. For more info contact Sue at Rookhow: [email protected].

“Woodlands should be treasured by all” – meet graduate forester Bryce

Cumbria has a new kid on the block taking his first steps in forestry employment.

Bryce Flannaghan is a new graduate forester employed by the Lake District Foundation and managed by Cumbria Woodlands.

As part of his learning Bryce will work alongside United Utilities staff making lasting improvements to woodlands in Thirlmere. We caught-up with Bryce to find out more.

Bryce at Thirlmere. Photo Ewen Turner/Cumbria Woodlands.

Tell us about your role 

My role was created as part of a partnership between Cumbria Woodlands, United Utilities and the Lake District Foundation, who secured Green Recovery Challenge Funding generously provided by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

This will finance the restoration of plantations on Ancient Woodland Sites (PAWS) to their former natural condition throughout Thirlmere Valley. This will increase overall biodiversity, mitigate the effects of extreme weather events and climate change, as well as improving the water quality of Thirlmere reservoir, which supplies water throughout the Northwest.

My responsibility is the planning and implementation of this woodland restoration and I hope to improve and protect these unique habitats so future generations can benefit from them.

Thirlmere. Photo Ewen Turner / Cumbria Woodlands.

How pleased are you to start as graduate forester?

The forest industry is full of passionate and knowledgeable individuals, which makes for very strong competition when seeking employment as a graduate with little experience.

There are few apprenticeship schemes or graduate places that will allow someone who is new to the industry to develop their skills and connect with professionals and I was very lucky to have secured one with Cumbria Woodlands.

They, in partnership with United Utilities and the Lake District Foundation have supported me in my transition from education to full-time work, providing essential equipment and offering many training opportunities. I couldn’t ask for a better start in forestry.

Are woodlands a passion of yours?

At first, no. I finished my A-Levels and had no Idea what I wanted to do for a career, but I knew I wanted to work outdoors. I decided to do a forestry management course at the University of Cumbria on a whim and instantly loved it. I had never really thought about the importance of woodlands beyond their production of oxygen and as a place to go for a walk.

Seeing the vast scope of industry reliant on forest products and learning how sustainable forest management benefits the wider environment and the health and well-being of society, made me realise that woodlands should be treasured and protected by all.

What are you most looking forward to in your role?

Forestry and its related sectors comprise a wide range of disciplines and everyone I have met so far has had a wealth of knowledge and experience, and a passion for their respective fields.

I always learn something new when talking to colleagues or meeting woodland owners / managers on site. This, in combination with the many training and learning opportunities provided by Cumbria Woodlands, mean I can look forward to expanding my knowledge and experience while in this role and hopefully this will continue throughout my career.

Have you always lived in the Lake District?

I’m originally from the North East but after moving to the Lake District for university I couldn’t leave…

There’s a reason so many people visit the national park each year, the landscape is stunning and there’s no end of things to do if you enjoy being outdoors. I’m very fortunate to be able to live and work here.

What is your favourite place in the Lake District?

As a forester, you would probably think it would be a pristine woodland somewhere or the location of a remarkable ancient tree, but I prefer a challenging hike up a fell.

My favourite area at the moment is the Langdale Pikes and If I’m feeling brave, I’ll scramble up Jacks Rake along the way. I should also mention my favourite woodland though, which is Heald Wood, a National Trust site on the west shore of Windermere with a nice mixture of ancient broad-leaved woodland, large conifers and excellent views across the lake.

What are your passions outside of work?

Outside of work I enjoy climbing, hiking, and wild camping… and pretty much anything else you can do outdoors in the lakes. I also play the drums whenever I get the chance which, to the delight of my next door neighbours, isn’t too often.

Photo Ewen Turner / Cumbria Woodlands

Stay Carbon Monoxide Safe 4 Summer

Carbon monoxide outside of the home

It’s not just in the house that you must be carbon monoxide safe. Anywhere that fossil fuels are burnt, CO can occur. Ensure that appliances are checked and maintained, barbecues are ALWAYS in open air (even after they have gone out), and you have a CO alarm present.

  1. Camping Tents – Never take a camping stove into a tent. Even after extinguishing. CO can continue to be produced for hours
  2. Caravans and Motorhomes – Appliances such as gas fires/cookers, or petrol-powered generators should be maintained and a CO alarm installed
  3. Boats – Similar to caravans and motorhomes, boats can contain fuel burning devices which should be maintained and a CO alarm should be present.
  4. Car Exhausts – Car exhausts produce carbon monoxide, so never leave a car running in a confined space, such as a garage.

The Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning

Carbon monoxide starves the body of oxygen. Making individuals feel unwell, and therefore is potentially mistaken as a cold or flu. The longer the exposure to carbon monoxide, the worse the symptoms become. High levels of carbon monoxide exposure can be fatal.

  1. Headaches
  2. Dizzyness, tireness or confusion
  3. Stomach pain or sickness
  4. Difficulty breathing

#Safe4Summer

Find out more, visit

unitedagainstco.com/cosafe4summer

Conservation Charity Awards Hedgerow Grants

The Lake District Foundation, the local organisation helping look after nature and culture in the Lake District and Cumbria, have awarded grants from the Real Hedge Fund Campaign, part of their latest fundraising initiative.  

The successful projects have been awarded between £500 – £2,300 from a new fund launched last April by the Lake District Foundation and partners for the protection and creation of native hedgerows in Cumbria. The partners include the Ullswater Catchment Management CIC, The Food, Farming and Countryside Commission, Cumbria Wildlife Trust, Woodland Trust and Eden Rivers Trust.  

The Fund aims to highlight the importance of hedgerows in the environment and the role within the cultural and natural heritage of the Lake District and has an ambitious target to plant 4,000 metres of native hedgerows across Cumbria.   

Sarah Swindley, CEO, Lake District Foundation said: We’ve had a fantastic response to this round of funding. Thank-you to all those who applied and congratulations to those who were successful. The grants have been awarded to those who demonstrated environmental value either by planting new native hedgerow or restoration of old hedgerows and opportunities to allow for community engagement. In total the grants awarded will fund 400 metres of native hedgerow in Cumbria. We look forward to sharing the stories and impact the funding will have”

Four projects have been selected, a brief summary of each can be found below but you can find further information and keep in touch with the projects’ impacts at lakedistrictfoundation.org

  • Holghyll Wood to Lacet Hay Meadow, Hutton Head Farm, Penrith. A new 84metre ‘corridor’ hedge will be created to join a 20 acre semi-natural ancient woodland (The Holghyll Wood) with a 9 acre hay meadow (Lacet Hill). The new hedge will link key habitats together creating an important wildlife corridor.  
  • Holme House Farm, Skelsmergh  
    A new hedge will be created around the south and east boundaries of Holme House Farm and will extend the native woodland by 3000 sq m. Holme House Farm are a co-housing group building 5 eco-homes and living communally on a currently derelict farm with 12 acres of land in the River Sprint valley. The group seek to live together in ways that minimise the environmental impact and restore and enhance the wildlife and habitats of the woodland, river and meadows on our land. 
  • Low Park Hedge, Tebay 
    To restore an ancient hedge and fence both sides to protect it. Currently, the hedge is very overgrown but is used by red squirrels. It is a vital link between ancient woodland and a newly established wildlife area. Low Borrowbridge Farm is trying to make a 3.5-mile nature recovery network for the squirrels, working with Penrith Red Squirrels.  
  • Barn at Thwaite Head, Ulverston  
    A restoration project of an old barn and traditional orchard, using regenerative and holistic management principles. The installation of the new hedgerow will create additional biodiversity and benefit future orchard tree plantings and meadow grasses by creating a biodiverse area which can be resilient to pests, and benefit local wildlife and thrive. 

The next round of funding will be in September 2021 with £5,000 available. Further information about how to apply and the criteria will be available on the charities grant funding section of their website, lakedistrictfoundation.org/apply-for-a-grant/

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 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/ 

VIRTUAL ADVENTURE EVENING LAUNCHED FOR FIX THE FELLS

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.

 

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.

 

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.” 

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!”

How Covid has impacted on our thinking about the natural world

During May and June, we ran a short survey to find out more about people’s views and concerns about our natural world, and the role that access to natural spaces had played during the corona virus pandemic.  Nearly 230 people responded to our survey, and we will be using the findings to help shape and inform our future programmes of work. 

Who Responded? 

Most respondents were over 25, so we know we need to do some further work to capture the view and insights of young people. 

Nearly everyone who replied had some access to green or natural spaces during this time, though we know that this isn’t the case for everyone. 

Most respondents were from Cumbria and Lancashire and we can assume that most respondents already had an interest in protecting and conserving the environment, with 67% reporting that green and natural spaces were just as important to them now as they had always been. 

Key Findings

  • Most people (66%) reported discovering new spaces, footpaths and routes near to where they lived.   
  • Footpaths and rights of way and woodlands were the most visited spaces, followed by streets and local parks, and over half of people said that they will continue to access green and natural spaces more local to them once restrictions are lifted.  “I have decided that I want to spend more time in nature locally and cut my driving and travel.” 
  • People reported a range of positive benefits from having access to natural spaces during ‘lock down’ and restrictions, with 75% reporting positive benefits to their mental health, and 62% reporting benefits to their physical health.  64% of people also reported that access to natural space provided an activity at a time when other options for recreation were limited.
  • However, a smaller number of people recorded negative impacts, in particular reporting concerns around maintaining social distancing and feeling confident to access spaces safely when other people are around, especially following an increase in the number of people accessing green spaces that they might normally use.
  • Nearly everyone reported seeing some positive changes in the nature and wildlife around them, recording increases in birdsong, wildlife and insects, with 35% of people reported that they now wanted to do more to help conserve the natural world. 
  • All respondents placed great value on being able to access green and natural spaces, with 67% saying that they are just as important as they were before, and 33% reporting that they were now even more important to them. 
  • We can see that the benefit people have gained from our natural spaces has positively  influenced their interest in supporting charities working to protect these spaces.  Half of respondents already donated to causes which support the natural world and environment, and 12% said that they now might give more in the future.  Nearly 1/3rd reported that they had not given to support the natural world before but might now in the future. 
  • We’ve also seen an increases in the volume of people willing to donate through outdoor contactless points, with just over 50% of respondents reported that they would be likely to donate in this way, compared to 31% when we surveyed people in this issues in 2018 survey.  

Emerging Themes  

Several broader themes also emerged from the survey, and which we will be working to explore further. 

  • Health and Wellbeing – Our survey highlighted the vital role that access to green and natural spaces plays in supporting health and wellbeing, and in particular mental health and emotional wellbeing. 
  • Managing visitors to the area – People identified the challenges in managing access to green and natural spaces, and balancing the needs of both residents and visitors.
  • Equality of access– People recognised that not everyone had equal access to green and natural spaces and were keen to explore how this could best be tackled.  
  • Transport and Parking – Restrictions on travel highlighted the hugely positive impact of reduced traffic in and around our natural spaces.  People were keen to explore how we could build on this and improve infrastructure for other forms of more environmentally friendly travel to and around our green spaces – including cycling and improved public transport. 
  • Behaving Responsibly People’s reported concerns about a perceived lack of knowledge or education around how to safely and considerately access the countryside and natural spaces.  Many people reported that they thought people were  now less familiar with the Countryside Code. 
  • Learning from the crisis to improve the management of our natural spaces – People wanted the wider response to current crisis to have nature at its heart.  They highlighted positive consequences of restrictions which could be captured and used to inform future developments in the management of green / natural spaces. For example, looking at the impact of reduced traffic and footfall across the Lake District National Park and exploring what this has shown us and what could be taken forward in the future. 
  • Biodiversity loss – People expressed broad concerns regarding biodiversity loss, in our natural spaces, and suggested how changes in land, environmental and farming management practices could be used to tackle this.  

Survey quotes

I feel it’s become apparent that natural and green spaces are imperative to physical and mental well-being. However, it has also demonstrated the challenges that exist. How do we travel to these spaces? How do we interact with them? How do we balance the needs of those visiting vs the impact of those visits? We could have a unique opportunity to change the way we do things, but that change needs to start now.

I miss the Lakes!! Cannot wait to be able to come back and enjoy the mountains again with my family. Outdoor spaces, particularly the lakes, is hugely important to my mental health – it is where I feel most comfortable and happy.

Home working and the restrictions have put a heavier reliance on accessing natural spaces for exercise and mental health, but have only strengthened my existing conviction of the need for a simple and close relationship with nature – and the desire to avoid unnecessary travel, particularly by car, and also technology when engaging with nature.

Access to green spaces has been vital for us as  key workers and with 3 children under 7 mental well being has been a top priority for us to maintain.

We should encourage more sustainable modes of transport.  The lack of traffic in the Lakes was profound in the early weeks of lockdown and enhanced my experience of the Lakes.

I’ve lived in the Lakes for 4 years and have never done as much outdoors as I have done during lockdown. Not having access really made me appreciate it. Only been able to access what was on my doorstep made me appreciate where I live. I was furloughed; I’m worried about what it will be like going back to work. I was always so tired! With the long days and commuting. I’m worried I will lose the joy I’ve had from being outdoors because of lack of time.

Cedar 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.  

The Cedar Manor Hotel in Windermere has been a business supporter since 2007 raising over £17,000 for the Foundation during that period. They re-opened their doors at the start of July after receiving their ‘Good to Go’ accreditation from Visit Britain.   

Jonathan Kaye, Owner of The Cedar Manor Hotel, explains,  

“We have gone through quite an extensive program to get Covid-19 safe. We have received our accreditation from Visit Britain, the Good to Go Kitemark, in July and have now opened our doors. 

To get this we have completed 3 key risk assessments that are all focussed on Covid-19.

First a customer journey, from booking to departing, to ensure they will feel confident and safe at all times.

Second, the staff journey, whether chef, housekeeper, front of house or manager, to ensure they are aware of the new standards and rules and can complete their tasks in a safe environment.

Third, the building. We have been working to make this covid safe by the using an external contractor who will use an environmentally friendly chemical to “Fog” all our rooms and public areas (including the terrace) which puts an invisible coating over all surfaces, even fabrics that lasts 28 days.

We have purchased PPE for staff and training plans have been implemented. We have implemented digital signage in place with sanitizing stations at the entrance and entrances to public areas. Our room folders have been replaced with an APP and Hotel TV channels added for those who don’t use a smartphone, with all you need to know about the hotel.

We have sent emails to guests booking with revised information, pre-arrival emails with detailed information regarding to arrival at the hotel and the option to pay online prior to departure, making it a contactless experience. Also, not forgetting with added our Covid Guest Charter on our website too.

Above all, we are reassuring guests that although it sounds like a “new world”, we want them to come and relax knowing that its safe and they are going to be well looked after.”

Why we support the Lake District Foundation?

“Initially, we joined in 2007 shortly after taking over Cedar Manor. We were introduced to the foundation and understood quickly that a few pounds from each guest would do great work for local charities. What struck a cord for us was the Park being a place to come for free and asking the guests for £2 to help keep the footpaths maintained, preserve red squirrels and do other great work was a no-brainer.

We then looked at our “green” journey and visitor giving is part of gaining green accolades, so as we were already embarked on this process, it was a big tick for us. The guests really don’t mind and love the fact that they can contribute to the well-being of the park.”

What struck a cord for us was the Park being a place to come for free and asking the guests for £2 to help keep the footpaths maintained, preserve red squirrels and do other great work was a no-brainer.

Jonathan Kaye, oWNER
cEDAR MANOR
Cedar Manor Hotel 
Jonathan and Caroline Kaye 
cedarmanor.co.uk 

 

CONSERVATION CHARITY WELCOMES VISITORS BACK TO NATIONAL PARK

The Lake District Foundation extends a warm welcome to visitors returning to the Lake District National Park as COVID restrictions ease and tourism businesses re-open. 

The Lake District Foundation, the charity raising funds to look after the Lake District National Park and Cumbria, have worked alongside partners and businesses to look after our natural world whilst visitors have been away. They have carried out research to understand the impact during this time and are proud of their business supporters’ opening their doors safely for visitors again. 

A small local survey conducted by the Foundation before the easing of restrictions in June revealed one third of people now feel that the green and natural spaces are more important than before and 75% reported the outdoors have a positive impact on their mental health. Nearly everyone reported seeing positive and visible changes in the environment and nature around them, recording increases in birdsong, wildlife and insects.  

Sarah Swindley, Lake District Foundation’s CEO, said: “It is more important than ever to look after the open spaces and spectacular landscape not only for the environment but also for people’s health and well-being.  
We are excited to welcome visitors back and hope you enjoy your favourite places in the Lake District but we do rely on your help to care for the wildlife, landscape and cultural heritage. There are many ways you can support: look out for our contactless donation boxes at Ullswater Steamers in Glenridding and Wainwrights Inn in the Langdales, or visit our website lakedistrictfoundation.org, and via our amazing business supporters across the Lake District. Thank-you for your continued support.” 

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 Cedar Manor Hotel in Windermere has been a business supporter since 2007 raising over £17,000 for the Foundation during that period. They re-opened their doors at the start of July after receiving their ‘Good to Go’ accreditation from Visit Britain.  

Jonathan Kaye, Owner of The Cedar Manor Hotel, explains, “To get this we have completed 3 key risk assessments that are all focussed on Covid-19. First a customer journey, second, the staff journey, third, the building.  Above all we are reassuring guests that although it sounds like a “new world”, we want them to come and relax knowing that it’s safe and they are going to be well looked after. We are delighted we can continue to fundraise for the Lake District Foundation and know our guests really love the fact that they can contribute to the well-being of the park through staying with us at Cedar Manor.” 

The money raised by the Lake District Foundation is distributed to effective projects that share the charity’s goals within the UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

The Real Hedge Fund

The Lake District Foundation works with partners to help care for the landscape, wildlife and heritage of the area. We know that people have been really valuing our natural world during lockdown and we have been getting lots of enquires about how best to offer support. We think hedgerows tick a lot of boxes!

We have an ambitious plan want to create or reinstate 4 Kilometres of new hedgerows in the Lake District.

The Real Hedge Fund

Sadly over the last 70 years our hedgerows have become significantly reduced both in the length and in quality. Now seems a really excellent opportunity to engage and support farmers, landowners and communities to reinstate and improve their hedgerows. 

Read More

Lake District Shortlisted for share of £50 Million Heritage Horizons Funding

We are so excited that the Lake District Foundation, on behalf of the Lake District National Park Partnership, is one of 12 organisations selected to take forward a development proposal to the Heritage Horizons Awards, competing for a share of £50 million.

Our proposal is titled:

Secured for our future – Nature, World Heritage and Farming in the Lake District

It focuses on 3 closely connected areas:

  • Nature Recovery and Climate Resilience, delivering farmer and community led nature recovery, providing bigger, better and more joined up habitats, storing carbon and increasing resilience to climate change.
  • Securing and futureproofing our farming heritage and culture in our World Heritage Site
  • Engaging a new generation with our work and with the Lake District, which has always been a place of inspiration for the nation.

Read the full Press Release or watch a short video 

LDF Welcome’s Three more new Businesses

The Lake District Foundation are always pleased to welcome the support of new businesses and so we are excited to announce not one, but three, local businesses who share our desire to secure the future of the lake district and Cumbria for future generations.

This is what they said joining the LDF means to them:

Rothay ManorThe Lake District Foundation is a charity that is close to our hearts.  We are so passionate about the Lake District and will do all that we can to help maintain and support our beautiful natural heritage.  It’s not always easy to get involved in charitable organisations when you run your own business and day-to-day life gets in the way, but the Lake District Foundation have made it really easy for us, and our guests, to get on board.  The Lake District is so important to so many people, for so many different reasons and it’s important for us to protect this natural environment for all visitors, present and future.

Within our first 3 months of membership we were lucky to hold a Red Squirrel workshop at our hotel, and I’m excited for the future to see what other exciting projects we can get involved in.”Jenna Shail – Owner of Rothay Manor

Healthy Human Life shares many mutual passions with the LDF. We are passionate about inspiring others to care for the planet and taking an active role in preserving its beauty.

The Lake District is a gift that keeps on giving for so many but needs our help for its longevity.  

Healthy Human’s mission is to encourage healthier lifestyle choices such as the reduction of single use plastics to assist in the sustainability of this beautiful land and planet beyond. Healthy Human- Healthy Planet.

We are proud to support the LDF on its missions to maintain this priceless landscape. 

Danielle Frazer – Director of Healthy Human Life UK 

As the oldest independently owned climbing shop in the Lake District, The Climbers Shop is very proud to support the Lake District Foundation in its work raising funds to protect our stunning National Park.

In the 60 years that we have been trading, the number of walkers, climbers and runners enjoying the great outdoors has exploded. Our livelihood depends on selling equipment to customers so they can enjoy the Lake District safely in all weathers and for that reason we have a responsibility to help protect the environment we love for generations to come.”

Cathy Casey – Director of The Climber’s Shop (Hooked on Granite Ltd)

Orrest Head

“Those few hours cast a spell that changed my life” – Wainwright.

The view from Orrest Head is spectacular, but not everyone can get there to enjoy it because the top section of path is too steep and difficult.

We want to create an alternative path to this special viewpoint suitable for people with limited mobility, including people with powered-wheelchairs and families with pushchairs.

Read More

Green Business Network

Green business network

The Lake District Foundation cares about our environment – and we know that our supporters do too. With our Green Business Network we want to work together. To share tips and experience of cost effective ways to make your business greener.

If you want to know more about `green’ business network opportunities, or share your experiences and ideas then come along to one of our breakfast meetings. More details and how to book your place can be found here. If you would like to see the Top 10 tips for easy green business solutions, click here.

Book the next network meeting now

Visit our Green Business page

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