We are a registered charity (Charity Number 1174201) and we our governed by a board of volunteer trustees, including representatives from the environment, business and tourism sectors in the Lake District and Cumbria.

Keith Ashcroft (Chair)

Former Area Director, Environment Agency

Environment Agency Area Manager for Cumbria and Lancashire. Born and bred in Lancashire, he developed his strong interest in the environment wandering the Cumbrian Fells which led him to study Geology at Leeds University. He has worked in a number of roles for the Agency regionally and nationally before becoming the Agency’s Area Manager in North Wales, followed by 2 years as Area Manager for Manchester, Merseyside and Cheshire Area before “coming home” in 2011 to lead the operational delivery of the Agency’s role in Cumbria and Lancashire. His role including managing flood risk, working with industry – including the water, shale gas and nuclear sectors and other partners to protect and improve the natural environment in the North West.

Trustee Peter Hensman

Peter Hensman (Treasurer)

Executive Director of Lake District Estates

Peter received an OBE in 2014 for his voluntary services to Cumbria’s rural economy. He was Chairman of the Cumbria Rural Enterprise Agency for six years and is Chair of Kendal Futures Board and the Lake District National Park Authority’s Business Task Force. Lake District Estates owns Ullswater Steamers and Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway and is a corporate supporter and fundraiser for the Lake District Foundation

Mike Innerdale

Director, National Trust North West

Mike has spent the majority of his career working in land management within protected areas across a variety of government, private and third sector organisations. He started with the Forestry Commission working in both the Lake District and the North York Moors, followed by roles at Severn Trent Water in the Peak District and as RSPB’s Regional Reserves Manager for North of England.

Mike joined the National Trust in 2007 as a General Manager in the Peak District estate. In 2012 Mike became the Trust’s North Region Assistant Director with overall strategic and operational responsibility for Cumbria and North Lancashire. In September 2018, Mike became Director of the North, a region which stretches from Lindisfarne in the North East, to Nostell Priory in South Yorkshire, and from the Lake District to Little Moreton Hall in Cheshire.

The North contains over one third of all National Trust land and support from over 3.5 million visitors and over 1 million members (5 million nationally) helps us care for a wealth of much loved and special sites; a major share in four National Parks and three UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Andy Airey

Andy Airey

Andy is a Cumbrian outdoor enthusiast. He is a keen walker, runner, skier, and biker and loves living life outdoors. Andy recently left his role as director of iconic Keswick outdoor retail shop George Fisher Ltd after 26 years, and as a very active and influential member of the Outdoor Industries Association, Andy brings immense knowledge of both the retail sector and local conservation issues.

Gill Haigh

Managing Director, Cumbria Tourism

During her 25 year career in marketing and communications, Gill has gained substantial leadership experience across both the private and public sectors. Gill was previously Director of Marketing and Recruitment at the University of Cumbria. Her previous jobs include heading up destination marketing and tourism services for Lancaster City Council. She also spent four years as North West Public Relations Manager for the National Farmers’ Union, having begun her career as a journalist. Gill lives near Kirkby Lonsdale with her husband and two children and enjoys spending her leisure time walking in Cumbria.

Graham Booth

Board Member, Booths

As a board member of EH Booth & Co Ltd, Graham has been responsible for fresh produce and more recently estates, including store procurement and design. In his spare time Graham enjoys rambling in the Lakes as well as managing a small forestry scheme. He also has a passion for restoring classic cars.

Graham is excited to join our Board, stating, “The Lake District has meant so much to me and my family over the years and I welcome the opportunity to work to protect this wonderful landscape.”

Matt Hartnett

Head of Marketing, Pure Cottages

Matt has worked for Pure Cottages (previously Heart of the Lakes) for over 4 years. He has significant experience of marketing across all channels and hopes to bring his experience to the Foundation. He believes in supporting the local communities and making sure the landscape stay the same for everyone to enjoy.

Dan Visser

Head of Sales and Marketing, Langdale Leisure

Moving to the Lake District to further his career in hospitality and for lifestyle reasons, Dan joined Langdale Leisure in 2008 as Director of Sales and Marketing, returning the business to profitability and part of the team which delivers sustainable solutions and supports local communities.

Dan is also a non-executive Director and Vice Chair of Cumbria Tourism and is active in developing and supporting a sustainable visitor economy. Dan was also part of the team that developed the Lake District UNESCO World Heritage Site branding, interpretation and engagement activity with visitors and communities.

Dan can often be found out enjoying the Lake District on his mountain bike always with a pub stop at one of the areas fine refreshment options. When not exploring the local trails Dan can be found biking and snowboarding in the Alps, Pyrenees and Sierra Nevada.

Richard Leafe

Richard Leafe

Chief Executive, Lake District National Park Authority

Richard joined the Lake District National Park Authority as Chief Executive in June 2007. Previously he was Regional Director in the North West for Natural England, a role he took up in October 2006. Richard worked for one of Natural England’s predecessors, English Nature, for 15 years. A Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, outside work Richard is a keen climber, runner, cyclist and skier. From September 2012 Richard became a Board Member for the Environment Agency.

Jim Ratcliffe

Environment, Planning and Engagement Manager, Environment Agency

Jim has over 20 years’ experience in the environment sector, with focus upon regulation, water quality, catchment management, flood recovery and sustainability.

Jim believe in what the Foundation is working to achieve, and how our values aligns very strongly with the purpose of the Environment Agency. He says, “The benefits of sustainable development speak for themselves but achieving this is the challenge. I was happy to support an organisation which not only promotes sustainability but helps others in achieving it.”

In his spare time he enjoys spending time with family and is an avid outdoor enthusiast, enjoying everything that the Lake District has to offer.

Kevin Sayers

Area Engagement Lead, Cumbria (Corporate Affairs), United Utilities

After leaving the Army in 1995,  Kevin spent 13 years working at Scottish Power. He joined United Utilities in 2012 as Wastewater Area Business Manager for Cumbria. Since then he has undertaken General Management roles across United Utilities including as Area Business Manager for the Water Treatment Directorate and managing all of Land Management activities. He joined the Corporate Affairs team in 2023.

In his free-time Kevin enjoys cycling, walking, golf and spending time with family and friends.

Kevin says: “I believe I can contribute to the LDF’s objectives utilising my wide business experience and relationships I have built over the last few years. I believe I can make a value-add contribution.”

Follow this link to view our Annual Report

Click here to see our Annual Accounts 2019

We are registered with the Charity Commission

We are registered with the Fundraising Regulator and adhere to the code of practice.

We follow the Institute of Fundraising Guidelines regarding the handling of donations

We apply the following guiding principles when considering working with businesses.

Click here to see our Constitution

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