Lake District Foundation launches new visitor giving scheme

lake district national park bridge

The Lake District Foundation has launched a new visitor giving initiative to help protect and care for the Lake District National Park.

The Lake District Foundation is encouraging visitors and locals to make a donation to help look after this spectacular place for now and in the future, by offering the opportunity to sponsor a place, project or person – or by making a one-off donation.

This type of donation and fundraising activity was run by the Lake District National Park but will now be carried by the Lake District Foundation on their behalf.

lake district national park gate

Richard Leafe, Lake District National Park, Chief Executive, said: “We are delighted to be working with the Lake District Foundation to carry out this unique way of raising funds to help look after our paths, gates and fingerposts. This charity is suitably placed to take on this activity, they are part of the Lake District National Park Partnership and they raise funds for conservation, environmental and cultural heritage projects across the Lake District. The money which is raised via this scheme will allow for more people to enjoy exploring the Lake District National Park now and in years to come.”

The Lake District National Park maintains more than 3,100km of footpaths and bridleways. The impact of over 19 million visitors each year, combined with the Cumbrian climate, means the National Park are constantly carrying out improvements and maintenance.

lake district national park fingerpost

Sarah Swindley, Lake District Foundation’s CEO, said: “We are excited to be working in partnership with the Lake District National Park to present this visitor giving opportunity.  Giving people the choice to sponsor a place, project or person, through the National Parks work programme, allows individuals to leave a lasting memory in a World Heritage site in celebration or in remembrance of a loved one. We have created a new easy-to-use donation section on our website to allow people to select what, where or who they’d like to sponsor. We welcome all donations and thank everyone in advance for their support.”

Those who are interesting in making a donation have a number of different choices:

  • Sponsor specific items – you can view the available items in a particular area via an interactive map and select the item you wish to sponsor. These items include gates, fingerposts and bridges starting from £250 to £1,000+. All have the opportunity to add a personalised plaque
  • Sponsor any item – you may simply wish to make a donation for any gate, fingerpost or bridge with a personalised plaque but don’t have a preference of where in the Lake District.
  • Sponsor a Park Ranger – the Lake District National Park Rangers work to maintain and improve access, protect wildlife and support local communities, farmers and visitors. It’s a rewarding job but help is required to fund the work on the ground, from £15+.
  • Sponsor an Apprentice – the Lake District National Park have a 100% success rate for apprentices moving into employment after training. Sponsoring an apprentice could help fund their training and equipment from £10 for a new pair of hard-wearing work gloves.
  • Make a donation – our mountains take you to new heights in the Lake District. You can help keep them that way. A small donation makes a big difference, for example £5 could pay for a native tree sapling, £10 could help repair a metre of footpath and £25 pays towards a metre of dry stone wall.

To donate any amount, visit the Lake District Foundation website at https://www.lakedistrictfoundation.org/sponsor-the-lake-district-national-park/

Ullswater Way crowdfunder receives donation boost

A crowdfunding campaign to raise £5,000 for repairs on the popular walking route in the Lake District, the Ullswater Way, has received a welcome donation boost helping the campaign reach the halfway point of meeting its target.

The £1,000 donation came from Ambleside Park Hotel, an exclusive staff only John Lewis Partnership hotel located in Ambleside, overlooking Windermere.

Ambleside Park Hotel has been raising funds for the Lake District Foundation since 2017 donating nearly £9,000 to date through visitor giving from guests.

Andrew Craig-Mair, Partner and Hotel Manager, Ambleside Park, said: “We are delighted to support the crowdfunding campaign for the Ullswater Way footpath repair. We would like to thank all our guests who have made this £1,000 donation possible. There are various ways a business can fundraise for the Lake District Foundation and we hope this £1,000 donation will encourage further visitor giving for the campaign and help towards hitting the final target of £5,000.”

The money raised through this crowdfunding appeal will allow work to be carried out by the Lake District National Park ranger team and volunteers to reduce the impact of the busy summer season ahead. The route needs drainage works, improvements to the path surface, new drystone walling, waymarker signs and to ensure the path is litter-free.

Sarah Swindley, Lake District Foundation’s CEO, said: “We are delighted to receive such a boost to the crowdfunder campaign bringing the current total to £2,988 but still have some way to go with only two weeks left to donate. If you love the Ullswater Way and the Lake District, we urge you to make a donation if you can, as a small donation makes a big difference.”

In return for donations on the crowdfunding campaign, rewards will be sent to those people who donate specific amounts. The rewards include:
Donate £10, receive a Ullswater Way Pin Badge, 20 available.
Donate £25, receive a Conquer Lake District unisex Cumbria Livin’ T-shirt, 20 available.
Donate £50, receive a Columbia Rucksack Urban Lifestyle 25L Daypack – an outdoor-inspired construction and minimalist, city look combine in this versatile commuter backpack, 10 available.
Donate £200, spend a day out with a Lake District National Park ranger repairing the Ullswater Way.

The crowdfunding campaign is running until Monday 27th May at 9pm. To donate any amount, visit the Ullswater Way project page on the crowdfunding website at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/ullswaterway .

Crowdfunding campaign for Langdale Pikes extended

A crowdfunding campaign to raise £5,000 for repairs to popular walking route in the Langdale Pikes is well-past the halfway point of meeting its target; and the deadline has been extended as support continues to grow.

Earlier this month, The Lake District Foundation launched its latest crowd funder to raise money to fund vital repairs along the path from Stake Pass to Pike O’Stickle via Martcrag Moor, making special rewards available for generous donors.

The cash raised will be donated to Fix the Fells, enabling its volunteers to landscape erosion scars, improve drainage, and define the line of the path to avoid a fragile bog habitat.

Volunteers will also build new sections of the ‘sheep fleece path’ – a traditional type of path that involves ‘floating’ a gravel path over peat bog by using the fleece as a barrier between the ground and the path.

This approach, which is both sustainable and environmentally friendly, results in an excellent upland path that blends in effectively with its surroundings.

James Forrest, Fix the Fells Fundraiser, says, “We’ve really seen a jump in the number of people pledging their support for this project in the last few days, especially from Ambleside Park one of our business fundraisers. We’re well on the way to raising £3,000 at the moment, but we’d love to hit £5,000. We’ve now extended the deadline to February 10 after seeing supporters really pick up the pace.”

In return for donations, rewards will be sent to those people who donate the following specific amounts.

The rewards include:

• A Fix the Fells pin badge for donations of £10 or more

• A Lake District Foundation goodie bag (containing a tote bag, Conquer the Lake District patch, badge and pen) for donations of £20 or more

• A limited edition Fix the Fells t-shirt in a size of your choice – designed by Fix the Fells partner Geo Clothing (https://geoclothing.co.uk/) – for donations of £40 or more

• A day out with the Fix the Fells volunteers on a ‘drain run’ for donations of £100 or more

• A hike with local adventurer and author James Forrest (aka ‘Mountain Man’) for a donation of £200 or more

To donate any amount, visit the Langdales project page on the crowdfunding website at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/martcragmoor before February 10.

Crowdfunding campaign launched for Langdale Pikes

A new crowdfunding campaign has been launched to raise money for a popular walking route in the Langdale Pikes.

The Lake District Foundation aims to raise £5,000 by the end of January to fund vital repairs to the path from Stake Pass to Pike O’Stickle via Martcrag Moor.

The cash raised will be donated to Fix the Fells, enabling its volunteers to landscape erosion scars, improve drainage, and define the line of the path to avoid a fragile bog habitat.

Volunteers will also build new sections of the ‘sheep fleece path’ – a traditional type of path that involves ‘floating’ a gravel path over peat bog by using the fleece as a barrier between the ground and the path.

This approach, which is both sustainable and environmentally friendly, results in an excellent upland path that blends in effectively with its surroundings.

James Forrest, Fix the Fells Fundraiser, said: “The jagged skyline of Langdale is one of Lakeland’s most beautiful sights – and the distinctive peaks of the Pikes are much-loved by walkers, runners, cyclists and tourists alike. But this popularity comes at a price.

“The Langdale Pikes are suffering from ongoing erosion caused by human activity. This is why the work of Fix the Fells’ dedicated teams of rangers and volunteers is of crucial importance. Please help support this vital conservation work. Every donation – no matter how big or small – makes a real difference.”

In return for donations, rewards will be sent to those people who donate specific amounts. The rewards include:

• A Fix the Fells pin badge for donations of £10 or more

• A Lake District Foundation goodie bag (containing a tote bag, Conquer the Lake District patch, badge and pen) for donations of £20 or more

• A limited edition Fix the Fells t-shirt – designed by Fix the Fells partner Geo Clothing (https://geoclothing.co.uk/) – for donations of £40 or more

• A day out with the Fix the Fells volunteers on a ‘drain run’ for donations of £100 or more

• A hike with local adventurer and author James Forrest (aka ‘Mountain Man’) for a donation of £200 or more

To donate any amount, visit the Langdales project page on the crowdfunding website at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/martcragmoor before January 29.

Full steam ahead for the reconnection of the Keswick to Threlkeld Railway Path as funding is announced

Press release 
5 December 2018

A £7.9 million funding package has been agreed to allow work to start on the final phase of reconnecting the Keswick to Threlkeld multi user trail which was severely damaged in Storm Desmond three years ago to the day (5 December).

Today is an important milestone in this complex project which has required significant work to get to this stage, and it is fitting that key funding partners and local users gathered to mark this development exactly three years since the fateful storm.

Funding has been approved so far from Highways England and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Additionally, community fundraising by the Lake District Foundation has resulted in a £130,000 donation all which will enable the project to go ahead.

Richard Leafe, Chief Executive of Lake District National Park said: “Storm Desmond caused unprecedented amounts of damage to communities, trails and bridges across the national park. This particular trail offers a great family-friendly, traffic-free route from town to village, it will be fully accessible to many people, such as cyclists, walkers and runners. It has taken some time but we have always been fully committed to making sure that it is reconnected for the benefit of all.

“Local fundraising has played a huge part in ensuring that this project can go ahead, demonstrating the strength of public feeling about this important trail. We’re thrilled that we now have the money in place to allow work to go ahead to complete the full reconnection of the Keswick to Threlkeld trail and make the route more resilient along the way.”

Construction contracts are currently out to tender and the trail construction partners will be announced in the near future. The aim is to start work in the New Year and have the route fully reopened within two years.

Highways England has committed a significant portion of the funding to allow this project to progress.

Bruce Parker, Highways England’s head of planning and development for the North West, said: “We’re delighted to be able to provide almost half the £7.9 million needed to restore and enhance the link between Keswick and Threlkeld, which was so badly damaged in Storm Desmond exactly three years ago and are looking forward to the re-construction work getting underway in the New Year.

“Highways England has set aside £250 million for projects like this focusing on supporting pedestrian, cyclist and equestrian users of the road network.  This money along with other special funds – for example supporting growth and housing and environmental improvements – is enabling us to provide environmental, social and economic benefits to the people, communities and businesses who live and work alongside our strategic road network.”

Sarah Swindley, CEO, Lake District Foundation said: “We ran a fundraising initiative this year and were completely blown away by the generosity of the local community and visitors to the area. We look forward to seeing the work start and progress over the next two years.”

During Storm Desmond, on 5 December 2015, two bridges that cross the River Greta and around 200 metres of path were completely washed away during the worst floods the county has seen and Rawsome Bridge was also later closed to ensure public safety.

Since then, the Lake District National Park has been working with key partners from the public and voluntary sectors on a plan to fully reconnect the route. As part of this work, a value for money study was undertaken and concluded that the restoration of the route could bring back about £2 million a year to the local economy.

This next phase will ensure the entire route will be reconnected and can once again be enjoyed by the local community and visitors to the area.

Photo shows key partners gathered at Brundholme where work will start along with some of the locals who are looking forward to the trail being reconnected.

L- R Richard Leafe LDNPA, Jonathan Reade, Highways England, Sarah Swindley, Lake District Foundation, Brittany Mason from ERDF and Amos Doran, Keswick Bikes.

Find out more information on www.lakedistrict.gov.uk/keswickrailway

Managing the biodiversity of the Lake District National Park

The Lake District Foundation has awarded a grant of £4,500 to the Cumbria Local Nature Partnership, enabling them to lead the development of a clear, strategic approach for managing the biodiversity of the Lake District National Park.

Local Nature Partnerships have been established to drive positive change in the local natural environment.  This funding will enable them to consider the broad picture across Cumbria, pooling knowledge and indentifying any gaps and challenges.  We will then be able to ensure that future funding is invested in the best possible places and projects, with the right people involved to deliver measurable benefits for wildlife, people and the economy.

We look forward to the development of this strategy, which will help us all ensure that we care for and protect the landscapes, wildlife and cultural heritage of the English Lake District in the best possible way.

Helping to save Helvellyn’s vulnerable arctic alpine flora

The Lake District Foundation has awarded a grant of over £2,600 to the John Muir Trust, which last year took over responsibility for the management of a large part of the iconic Lake District mountain, Helvellyn.  The money will fund a new project aiming to increase the populations of threatened arctic-alpine species found on the high crags of the Helvellyn range.

The project will bring together national experts, local volunteers and staff of the John Muir Trust in a project to safeguard our nationally important but extremely vulnerable populations of Arctic alpine flora.  Many of these species are growing at the southern edge of their range on Helvellyn.  The project hopes to see the successful re-introduction of species lost or under threat due to people and erosion pressure.  The work will also help to ‘future-proof’ upland floral and shrub populations against the threat of climate change.  Alpine mouse ear, Alpine cinquefoil and purple saxifrage are amongst the species that, it is hoped, will benefit from a gradual increase in their population size.

Beginning in the autumn/winter months of 2018, the project will start with the close monitoring of the arctic alpine species present and the collection of seed and cuttings.  Volunteers from the local community in Patterdale will work with staff from the John Muir Trust to propagate and ‘grow-on’ a stock of young plants.  Specialist advice will be available from Natural England and volunteer growers will help assess the success and failure of propagation of these rare species to help inform future work.  The funding from the Lake District Foundation will cover the costs of the special growing medium, pots and tools needed, and will contribute towards the costs of seed and cuttings collection, volunteer training and transport.

Hopefully – and with the enthusiastic support of Patterdale’s volunteer horticulturalists – the first successful shrub cuttings will be ready to plant out by autumn 2019.  The more adventurous and athletic volunteers may even get the opportunity to climb the high crags of Helvellyn to help planting out back onto the fells.  But the whole community and visitors to this upland landscape will benefit if this ground-breaking project is successful in creating more robust populations of the endangered arctic alpine species found in this tough Lakeland habitat.

Lake District Foundation launches regular giving appeal

Lake District Foundation launches regular giving appeal

The Lake District Foundation (LDF) has launched a new campaign to boost the number of people who give to the charity on a regular basis.

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

Recent examples of projects include fundraising to fix the paths on England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike, the Haweswater Woodland project – where volunteers will plant 400 protected native trees on a carefully selected area of Mardale Common and earlier this year a fundraising campaign generate funds to support the reconnection of the old Keswick to Threlkeld Railway Path which was washed away by Storm Desmond in 2015.

Regular supporters will be directly supporting high-impact and evidence-based projects on the ground, ensuring the sustainability of our spectacular landscape, wildlife and cultural heritage.

Lake District Foundation Director Sarah Swindley says, “Regular income is of enormous benefit to charities, especially so for the Lake District Foundation. The money raised will enable our team to help fund projects that share our goals much more effectively. Forward planning is so important and having a regular income stream helps us to plan even further ahead. It doesn’t have to be a huge amount of money if people choose to donate. Any amount, no matter how big or small, is welcome. It all adds-up to help us look after this spectacular landscape, wildlife and cultural heritage for future generations to enjoy.”

As a token of gratitude to those who show their regular support, donors will be sent a

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

The regular giving campaign was launched at the weekend’s Holker Hall Winter Market, where the team was joined by University of Cumbria volunteer students from the Ambleside campus, as well as the team from Lake District Pound (LD£).

You can sign-up by telephoning 01539 822 622, 9am-5pm on weekdays, download a paper form from the LDF website. Alternatively, people can sign up face to face at the Kendal Mountain Festival (November 15-18) or the Keswick Victorian Christmas Market (December 2). As an extra bonus, the first 100 people to sign-up will be entered into a free prize draw for a fell runner Jos Naylor-signed LD£ book.

‘Cultural Heritage’ within the Lake District World Heritage Site – Join the discussion

lake district world heritage site

The Lake District’s World Heritage Site inscription includes its Cultural Heritage – but what does that mean?  If you live or work in or close to the Lake District, you will now have an opportunity to join in the discussion to help define and manage this special characteristic of the area.

The Lake District Foundation has awarded £4,500 for a series of community workshops to be held throughout Cumbria and the Lake District to help residents understand and take ownership of the Cultural Heritage of the Lake District World Heritage Site.

A pilot event held in May 2018 clearly demonstrated that there is currently a lack of understanding about World Heritage Status and what it might mean for local communities in the Lake District.  Equally important is the impact on communities on the periphery of the designated World Heritage Site.  Participants at the pilot workshop were keen to establish on-going dialogue so that local representatives share in the development of both identity and vision for the World Heritage Site.

Thanks to the funding from the Lake District Foundation, community development organisation ACTion with Communities in Cumbria (ACT) is now able to arrange a series of local engagement workshops.  These will enable residents to explore the benefits, opportunities and challenges presented by the Lake District’s World Heritage Status.  They will give local people an opportunity to help define the identity, protection and management of their cultural heritage.  Residents and community representatives from across the county will have an opportunity to attend workshops in Bootle, Broughton-in-Furness, Keswick, Glenridding and Grasmere.  The events will focus on listening to community views and exploring with them ways to work with the Lake District National Park Partnership (the body responsible for World Heritage Status inscription) to celebrate their cultural heritage and conserve the natural environment.

Tree planting at Mardale Common, Haweswater

The Lake District Foundation has awarded a grant of over £2,000 to the Royal Society for the protection of Birds (RSPB) for tree planting at its Haweswater Nature Reserve at Bampton, near Penrith.  Commencing in November 2018, the project will see 400 trees planted on Mardale Common over the coming two winters.  The new planting will enhance the resilience of the existing ancient woodland, which is vulnerable as trees become older and less able to withstand the spread of disease and the effects of climate change.

This valuable contribution will enable the RSPB to train and equip their active team of local volunteers to plant the saplings, sourced from their own Haweswater tree nursery, to create an area of new woodland on Mardale Common.  The trees will be surrounded with weldmesh protection, nurturing their survival into mature trees.  Planted at low density, the new trees will become the large open-grown landscape trees for future generations.  Currently, these large landscape trees are being lost in Cumbria at a faster rate than they are being replaced, and the Lake District World Heritage Site nomination highlighted the vulnerability of our ageing native tree population and the need for new planting in appropriate places.

The RSPB has extensive experience of tree planting at Haweswater, having managed the area in collaboration with the landowner, United Utilities, for over 40 years.  The project has been developed in consultation with the Woodland Trust, the National Trust and United Utilities to provide a co-ordinated response to the challenges.

The local community welcomes this important project, recognising the importance of woodlands in providing habitat to support a broad range of wildlife, as well as being concerned about the impact on the landscape caused by the loss of ancient trees.  The RSPB already has extensive experience of tree planting at Haweswater, where previous planting work has resulted in an increase in biodiversity, with gains recorded for species including red squirrels, tree pipits and whinchats.  Mardale Common is all designated public access land, and the new area of woodland can be reached using a number of public footpaths that pass nearby.

Whilst the RSPB is hugely grateful to the Lake District Foundation’s supporters whose donations have made this funding possible, they are indebted to their team of around 20 local volunteers who are committed to conserving the wildlife and landscape on their doorstep.  The group is open to all ages and abilities and is always actively seeking new members to join its weekly work parties.

The Lake District Foundation funds work to improve Dash Beck at Bassenthwaite

The Lake District Foundation has approved a grant of over £2,000 towards a project led by the West Cumbria Rivers Trust, working in partnership with Bassenthwaite Rotary Club, to enhance the habitat of Dash Beck and surrounding land.  The project was first conceived by local people, and they will be fundamental to the successful delivery of the works necessary to improve the habitat of Dash Beck for a range of wildlife, particularly salmon and trout.  The project will also improve the safety and accessibility of the footpath from Bassenthwaite village to the lake, benefiting the local community and visitors alike.

The River Derwent, Bassenthwaite Lake’s principal river, is internationally important for its salmon and trout populations but these are currently in decline.  Preliminary work shows that Dash Beck could be an excellent spawning habitat for salmon, trout and other salmonids, but is currently not reaching its potential.  The project will tackle pollution inputs, reduce sediment inputs to the beck, increase in-stream habitat diversity, allow more light to reach the river bed, and will manage the riverside woodland to enhance its suitability for a wider variety of species.  To achieve this, tasks will include clearing and repairing the footpath; stabilising the eroding bank with natural materials; coppicing bankside woodland to allow more light to reach the stream and increase diversity of woodland habitat; pulling Himalayan balsam; and fencing off the beck and footpath from the farmland.  Other planned work includes training for landowners on the benefits of coppicing by Cumbria Woodlands.

As much work as possible will be carried out by volunteers, and activities will give them the opportunity to learn about the stream and the threats it faces.  Volunteers from Bassenthwaite Rotary Club will be trained as Riverfly monitors, taking monthly surveys of invertebrates as indicators of water quality and siltation.  Local volunteers will continue to walk the beck to monitor Himalyan balsam and overgrowth, and will continue to control if necessary.

Work will also be carried out to maintain the footpath alongside Dash Beck down to a quiet area of Bassenthwaite lake shore, where it joins a network of other footpaths, including the long distance ‘Allerdale ramble’ trail.  The project will reduce the risk of bank erosion, making the footpath safer and improving access to the lake.

Dash Beck lies in the northern fells of the English Lake District, descending rapidly from its source on the north facing slopes of the Skiddaw massif over a series of cascades known as Whitewater Dash or Dash Falls, described by Wainwright as the finest succession of falls in the Lake District.  The lower reaches of Dash Beck, which is where the work will be carried out, continue through a small valley of the same name, through the village of Bassenthwaite before flowing into Bassenthwaite Lake at its north-eastern corner.

Keswick Duck Race

The last event for the Keswick to Threlkeld Railway Path fundraising campaign will be on Thursday 21st June in Fitz Park, Keswick.

There are over 500 ducks to be launched between 6pm-8pm on the longest day of the year with the support from local Keswick Scout groups, Keswick Anglers, Lions and Rotary.

Prizes include:

  • First Prize: 2 nights in a Hobbit Hole at The Quiet Site, Ullswater
  • Second Prize: Dinner for two at The George Hotel, Keswick
  • Third Prize: £100 voucher for Travel Chapter
  • Spot Prizes:
    • Afternoon tea for 2 at The Gaddum, Brockhole — Set of signed books from Sean Conway
    • Family Pass for the World of Beatrix Potter, Windermere
    • Discovery Pass for Whinlatter Forrest
    • My Cumbria Card

Ducks are £5 and can be bought online here until midday on Thursday 21st June, at Love the Lakes, St John’s Street Keswick, or on the night.

The funds raised will go towards reconnecting the Keswick to Threlkeld railway path, some parts of which were severely damaged during the floods in 2015.

Two of the old railway bridges that crossed the River Greta were washed away and one bridge left at risk of collapse and around 200 metres of the path surface disappeared into the floodwaters.

In December 2017 the LDNPA were delighted to announce a major funding boost to the project – a £2.5 million grant from Highways England and a partnership with the Lake District Foundation to jointly fundraise the shortfall of around £3 million.

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