Pre-loved Pop-Up at Great North Swim

Find our ‘Pre-Loved Pop Up’ stand at this year’s Arla Great North Swim weekend! (June 9-11)

In partnership with the Great North Swim, we will have a variety of second-hand outdoor clothing and items for sale at the stand.

The Great North Swim sees amazing swim events take place throughout the weekend starting from Brockhole-on-Windermere.

All proceeds will go towards the Lake District Foundation helping us to look after this spectacular place.

But we need your help to make this pop up a success. If you have any old gear, be it old wetsuits, down jackets, goggles, backpacks etc that you no longer use, you can drop them off at Brockhole, Lake District Visitor centre before the event!

The team there will accept items from Monday to Saturday, alternatively you can also drop them on the day of the event at the Lake District Foundation stand.

Donations doubled for Fix the Fells

A Fix the Fells volunteer lifting rocks on the mountain side in the lake district

All donations to Fix The Fells over the next seven days will be doubled.

See your money go twice as far as Fix The Fells benefits from this week’s Big Give Green Match Fund.

The fundraiser runs from noon Thursday 20 April until noon Thursday 27 April.

All donations up to a grand total of £5000 will be doubled.


A team of Fix the Fells volunteers working on the mountain

The Lake District fells are enjoyed by millions of walkers every year but the high level paths can be surprisingly fragile and the sheer number of visitors leave a mark on the landscape.

Fix the Fells needs £500k each year to enable it to carry on its vital work repairing footpaths in a World Heritage Site.

Make your money go further this week and help restore the Lake District’s upland footpaths.

The Big Give Match Fund will DOUBLE your donation so you can DOUBLE your impact for a week of green giving.

Isabel Berry, Fix The Fells Partnership Manager said: “The work of Fix the Fells has never been more vital.

“The combined impacts of the climate crisis, footfall and the fragility of our upland environments means that action to repair and protect fell paths and their surrounds from erosion is critical to ensuring the long term health and resilience of the beautiful Lake District fells for all to enjoy and cherish.

“Your donation will help us deliver essential path work this year and we are immensely grateful for your support.”

Fix the Fells is a partnership programme between the Lake District National Park, National Trust, Natural England, Lake District Foundation, Friends of the Lake District and Cumbria County Council to repair erosion scars which have developed over the years, and to make sure that these scars are prevented in the future.


Help assess impact of Woodland Futures project

The Lake District Foundation has an opportunity for a consultant to assess the impact of its Woodland Futures project.

Working in partnership with Cumbria Woodlands, we were awarded funding from the Trees Call to Action Fund.

It aims to increase woodland creation and bring existing woodlands into management to ensure they have a bright future and benefit local communities, economies and the environment.

Woodland Futures will run for three years until March 2025.

It is one of 12 programmes nationwide that has a share of the £6 million Trees Call to Action Fund, led by Defra, the Forestry Commission and The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The first year is now complete and The Lake District Foundation seeks an independent evaluation of the programme with periodic feedback to allow continuous improvement.

The evaluation will draw on project management information, project outputs and interviews with key project stakeholders.

How to tender for Evaluation Report

The Tender brief is here.

Deadline for Tender expressions of interest is 30 June 2023.

Cumbrian businesses win £1.25m low carbon funding

Ninety-two Cumbrian businesses have received grants totalling £1.25m to reduce their carbon footprint.

They have benefitted from the Low Carbon Lake District Fund administered by The Lake District Foundation.

Over three years the fund has supported small to medium-sized businesses across the length of the Lake District including village shops, hotels, community-owned pubs, cinemas, breweries and arts venues.

They have received funding for everything from electric vehicle charging points, LED lighting, air source heat pumps, solar panels, and more environmentally friendly appliances.

It is estimated that resulting carbon savings of all these projects amounts to more than 400 metric tons.

One of the successful applicants is Rebel Gelato – a plant-based ice cream company set up last year and based in Kendal.

Fiona Quinn from Rebel Gelato

Fiona Quinn from the company said: “The grant has been invaluable in enabling us to buy energy efficient equipment from day one. We started our plant-based gelato business in June 2022 and were able to utilise highly energy efficient freezers – a core aspect of the business.

“We were keen to be as sustainable as possible and we wouldn’t have been able to make this kind of investment in energy efficient equipment without the grant.”

Another of the successful applicants – the 108-year-old Keswick Alhambra Cinema – received funding for 30 solar panels.

The £14,000 award from the Low Carbon Fund covered around 40% of the installation cost.

Keswick Alhambra has new solar panels

Carol Rennie, co-owner of the cinema said: “We’re so grateful for the Low Carbon Lake District Fund. The solar panels will generate around a third of the cinema’s electricity needs and reduce our CO2 input considerably.”

The Victorian House Hotel in Grasmere (pictured below) also benefits from solar panels.

Serena von der Heyde, Victorian House owner said: “A huge part of our carbon footprint is the energy we consume. Our new solar panels are up and running and contributing renewable energy to the electricity that we use. This is a massive step forward for us and we could never have afforded the initial investment without the grant support from the Lake District Foundation.

“It has been a game changer – accelerating our progress towards becoming a carbon neutral business.”

Qualifying groups and businesses were awarded up to 60% of project costs, with all projects completed by spring 2023.

Crosby Granger Architects 

Crosby Granger Architects will get solar panels at their Low Fellside base.

Chris Granger, Director Architect from the company said: “With so much uncertainty around energy costs, this funding stream allowed us to make pro-active steps at reducing our day to day running costs while also doing our bit to reduce our impact on the environment.”

Sarah Swindley, Chief Executive Lake District Foundation said: “We are delighted to support more than 90 businesses across the Lake District with their fantastic projects that all designed to reduce carbon emissions.

“This comprehensive programme to help tackle climate change in the National Park has been a big success. It has been great to see local businesses and communities working to reduce greenhouse gases and prepare for the impacts of climate change”.

Delivered by The Lake District Foundation, the Low Carbon Lake District Fund is led by the Lake District National Park Authority, other key partners include the National Trust, South Lakeland District Council (now Westmorland and Furness Council) and Cumbria Tourism. The Fund is supported by the European Structural Investment Fund.

“The best start in forestry I could’ve had…”

A graduate forester has reflected on his one year working in woodlands at Thirlmere.

Bryce Flannaghan has been taking his first steps in forestry during a 12 month placement.

He has been employed by the Lake District Foundation and managed by Cumbria Woodlands.

As part of his learning Bryce worked alongside United Utilities staff making lasting improvements to woodlands around the reservoir at Thirlmere.

His 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.

Bryce’s work focused on the restoration of plantations on Ancient Woodland Sites (PAWS) to their former natural condition throughout Thirlmere Valley.

The aim was to increase overall biodiversity, mitigate the effects of extreme weather events and climate change, as well as improving water quality of Thirlmere which supplies water throughout the Northwest.

Bryce said: “My responsibility has been the planning and implementation of this woodland restoration to to improve and protect these unique habitats so future generations can benefit from them.

“I have had a fantastic year. Cumbria Woodlands has been great to work with and really pushed my professional development. I’m grateful to them and The Lake District Foundation for funding the whole project.

“I’m also grateful to United Utilities for letting me work in their woodlands to try and restore it to what it was.”

Reflecting on his year as Graduate Forester, Bryce said: “It’s the best start in forestry I could’ve had. It’s a life-long career for me…”

We went out to see Bryce to find out more about his work…

Five Cumbria hedge schemes awarded funding

The Lake District Foundation is supporting five organisations with funding to plant new hedges and trees.

We have allocated £10k through our Real Hedge Fund which helps create and restore hedgerows and trees across the county.

More than 1000 meters of hedgerow has already been planted in two previous rounds of funding.

Sarah Swindley, Chief Executive Lake District Foundation, said: “We have been raising funds for several years specifically designed to help restore Cumbria’s under-threat hedgerows.

“Nineteen hedge projects have received funding over the last two years and the latest round of support sees five fantastic initiatives receive backing.”

Among them is Long Marton Primary School – outside Appleby – which receives £1300 towards a new hedge which will encourage wildlife.

Headteacher Rachel Smith said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this grant and will use it to plant a native hedgerow along the perimeter of our school grounds.

“We will also sow a wildlife meadow in front of the hedge with seed donated by the Cumbria Wildlife Trust. Wildlife and environmental conservation is very important to us and we are very committed to Outdoor Learning.”

Long Marton School

Other projects supported include:

  • Ulverston Ford Park Community Group Ford Park will receive £2500 to add hedgerows to improve biodiversity.
  • Friends of Dubwath Silver Meadows will receive £1800 to extend an existing hedgerow near a wetland nature reserve.
  • New hedge schemes at Greystoke and Mire Head, Grayrigg.

The Real Hedge Fund aims to highlight the importance of hedgerows and trees in the environment and their role within the cultural and natural heritage of the Lake District.

Hedgerows are unsung biodiversity heroes, as well as connecting habitats, protecting against pollution and helping fight climate change, they provide a home for 80% of our woodland birds, hedgehogs, most species of bat, the great crested newt, dormice and butterflies.

The Lake District Foundation launched the Real Hedge Fund 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.

New ultra event raises funds for the Lake District

An epic ultra marathon event in the stunning landscape of the Lake District National Park gets underway for the first time this autumn.

The 13 Valleys Ultra takes place between 29 September to 1 October 2023 and sees entrants running and raising funds at the same time.

Organised by the Great Run Company this new event features three ultra distances – 60km, 100km and 180km – and a 20km trail distance, each promising spectacular trail and mountain running over the fells.

What is even better is that 5% of each competitor entry fee will go to The Lake District Foundation helping us to look after this stunning place.

We speak to Race Director Colin Murphy to find out more.

Race Director Colin Murphy

What inspired you to create the 13 Valleys challenge?

Having visited the Lakes since I was a child I had enjoyed many day walks and a few overnighters. However there weren’t any routes similar to the alpine walking holidays I had also enjoyed. The chance to work with Lake District National Park to develop not only an event, but a trail that would be there for years to come was really exciting.

The vision was to give a platform for people of all ages and level of fitness to share the same route and experience, be that as an ultra-runner or as a family holiday – all the while sharing the benefits of tourism with all corners of the Park.

What is your involvement in the event?

As the Event Director for the Great North Swim the challenge was to come up with a world class event, that had a real reason to exist. My role with the 13 valleys ultra is identify a route and a team to safely introduce runners to the trail and ultra running.

How did you get involved in the Great Run company?

I have been at the Great Run Company for 15 years. I was always keen to work in the sports industry and have been lucky enough to manage elite and mass events all over the UK, from athletics in Horse Guards Parade in London, to managing 60,000 finishers at the Great North Run, there is never a dull day.

Why is the Lake District such a great place for this event?

The Lake District has so much to offer, and a lot of visitors don’t really scratch the surface. The unique landscape of each of the valleys, and the cultures and stories each valley holds, provide such exciting opportunities for future visitors.

Tell us about the different levels of events.

The 13 Valleys Ultra is the headline event. Exploring the whole park and offering the most extreme challenge, it is only for the most seasoned ultra athlete. With 180k to run, and over 7000m of ascent it is up there with some of the toughest challenges in the world.

At the other end of the spectrum we have a 20km two Valley Trail. We recognise that to some none trail-runners, this will seem almost as daunting. We want to provide the platform for new runners, or those who haven’t been confident to start their off-road journey, to feel confident in taking on their first trail challenge. This fully waymarked and supported event will share some of the same trail as the 13 Valleys event and give a flavour of what running in this landscape is all about.

Picture by Steve Ashworth

We then have two further Ultra distances – the 100km ‘7 Valleys Ultra’ and 60km ‘5 Valleys Ultra’ are there for anyone who is up for a challenge!

The 5 valleys is an ideal first ultra, being fully waymarked, GPS tracked and supported through well stocked feed stations. The 7 Valleys is for those who are a bit more experienced, and want to test themselves in some of the most beautiful terrain imaginable.

The step up will require not only increased fitness but also navigation skills, as the first 40km will be self navigated, before they join the waymarked 5 valleys route to the finish.

Why is it important to raise funds for The Lake District Foundation?

We benefit enormously from the landscape in the Lake District National Park – be that the breaking a sweat during a day on the fells, or soothing the soul admiring the view across one of the lakes.

It’s easy to think that such a perfect landscape takes care of itself, when the reality is very different. Donating part of the entry to The Lake District Foundation not only gives the charity much needed funds to help its mission to maintain that landscape, but it also reminds us all of the very real impact we have on the environment around us.

As we encourage people to explore all 13 Valleys, we want them to remember to respect the landscape, and help to leave it as they find it to allow many more people to benefit in the future.

What is it like to launch an event like this for the first time?

Exciting, and daunting, in equal measure. The scale of the route means that logistics are complicated, with medical and contingency planning not a small task. However the thought that this event will come to life, and give birth to a legacy trail is incredibly motivating. We can’t wait to share it with everyone.

Enter the 13 Valleys Ultra

5% of each competitor entry goes towards The Lake District Foundation.

Find out more and enter the 13 Valleys Ultra here:

13 Valleys Ultra | An epic event in the Lake District National Park

Challenging yourself this year? Raise funds for the Lake District

Limbering up for a challenge in the Lake District in 2023?

Why not give a little back and raise funds for the mountains you’re striding on?

An epic ultra marathon event in the stunning landscape of the Lake District National Park gets underway for the first time this autumn.

The 13 Valleys Ultra takes place between 29 September to 1 October 2023 and sees entrants running and raising funds for the Lake District Foundation at the same time.

Picture by Steve Ashworth

Organised by the Great Run Company this new event features three ultra distances – 60km, 100km and 180km – and a 20km trail distance, each promising spectacular trail and mountain running over the fells.

What is even better is that 5% of each competitor entry fee will go to The Lake District Foundation helping us to look after this stunning place.

There are also lots of other challenges taking place where you have the option to raise funds for the Lake District Foundation.

How fantastic would it feel to take on our elements while helping the Lake District environment at the same time?

We are delighted to be a partner with T2Events on this August’s Windermere One Way Swim.

This is the 10th anniversary of one of the greatest & toughest open water swimming events.

People can make a donation to the Lake District Foundation when they enter: www.windermereoneway.co.uk

If you’d rather remain on dry land there are a series of events you can take part in across the Lake District or farther afield.

You may have a different challenge in mind? A goal to run or walk around a certain stretch of the Lake District? It would be fantastic if you could raise funds for those very surroundings.

Why not check out these treks and undertake one on your own – or with a team of friends or work colleagues:

Lake District 5 Peaks Challenge: Trek challenge to UK (charitychallenge.com)

Lake District Triple Challenge: Trek challenge to UK (charitychallenge.com)

National Three Peaks Challenge: Trek challenge to UK (charitychallenge.com)

Hotels lend support to Windermere Big Give

With your support we were delighted to raise more than £23000 for community projects that look after Windermere.

Before Christmas we asked for your backing with our week-long Big Give fundraiser.

A total of £23865 was raised and will go towards community projects that contribute to the health of England’s largest lake.

We received dozens of individual online donations and several Lake District businesses gave substantial donations including Burn How Garden House Hotel, Langdale, and Cedar Manor.

Money was raised through visitor giving – with hotel guests making a small donation to look after the Lake District.

Caroline and Jonathan Kaye from Cedar Manor, said: “It’s fantastic to giving something back to the community that we live and work in. It’s important for us to get the message over to guests about conservation and protection of the landscape and share information about the Foundation and its work.”

A spokesperson for Langdale said: “Langdale and all our guests are proud to continue to support the Lake District Foundation. Operating in the Lake District brings with it a responsibility to look after the environment and special landscape that is so important to our visitors and our communities.”

The Lake District Foundation is a member of the Love Windermere Partnership which was launched in summer 2022 with the aim of improving water quality.

The money raised during the Big Give will help deliver a range of activities to increase awareness and knowledge of phosphate pollution, work with local residents, businesses, lake users and visitors to tackle the issue – for example providing education around septic tank use – in order to improve the health of the lake and its habitats.

Donations doubled to help Windermere

Windermere is England’s largest lake – a much loved and iconic feature of the Lake District.

The Lake District Foundation wants to launch community projects that all contribute to the health of the lake and improve water quality.

From noon on Tuesday 29 November to noon Tuesday 6 December we are taking part in the week-long national Big Give Christmas Challenge.

All donations you make over the next seven days will be doubled.

Donate: here

Sarah Swindley, Chief Executive, Lake District Foundation, said: “We know there are some concerns around the health of the lake – particularly around water quality.

“Our project will deliver a range of community activities with the aim of improving water quality in Windermere, with a particular focus on reducing phosphate levels in the lake.

“What’s really exciting is that all donations this week will be doubled in the Big Give Christmas Challenge.”

The Lake District Foundation will deliver a range of activities to increase awareness and knowledge of phosphate pollution, work with local residents, businesses, lake users and visitors to tackle the issue – for example providing education around septic tank use – in order to improve the health of the lake and its habitats.

There are some great projects getting planned to work to improve water quality as part of the Love Windermere Partnership which was launched in summer 2022.

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