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Taking care of Cumbria
Taking care of Cumbria

Caring for our environment

The landscape here in Cumbria is unique.

For centuries, it has inspired people for many reasons - artistic, romantic and adventurous.

We are very lucky to have such an amazing place and realise that alongside enjoying all that our county has to offer there is a responsibility to treat it with respect and all do our bit to help maintain it for the future.

The Lake District National Park was granted UNESCO World Heritage Status in 2017, making it the first National Park to receive this recognition, and the second World Heritage site in Cumbria, along with Hadrian's Wall. One of the considerations in the decision to grant this status was conservation. Indeed the Lake District was the birthplace of the conservation movement, with such famous pioneers as Beatrix Potter being key figures in this happening.

World Heritage sites are assessed according to their global significance and uniqueness. UNESCO calls these criteria 'Outstanding Universal Values'.
For the Lake District the Outstanding Universal Values are Identity, Inspiration and Conservation.

View more information about the Lake District National Park's World Heritage status,
and in celebration, Lakes Culture has put together some Signature Experiences, based on area, which bring together some of the best cultural attractions that you can experience in this very special part of the UK.

Lake District Foundation

Lake District Foundation

The Lake District’s newest charity, The Lake District Foundation celebrated its first anniversary in 2018, having raised almost £400,000 for 16 different projects in its first 12 months.

Since it registered with the Charity Commission on August 9th 2017, more than 200 businesses have signed up to work with the charity, which aims to help care for the national park by encouraging donations from visitors and local businesses for key local projects.

Building on the legacy of its predecessor Nurture Lakeland, the LDF supported several high-profile projects in its first year - many of which are household names, including The Lake District Osprey Project and the Fix the Fells scheme.

During that time, the charity also raised more than £100,000 for a project to re-connect the storm-damaged Keswick to Threlkeld railway path.

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Hot on the heels of celebrating its first anniversary, the Lake District Foundation began work on engaging with members of the younger generation to ask what they feel are the most important local projects and issues it should support in the coming years.

The charity has set up a Youth Panel, with the hope that a stronger understanding of local young peoples’ values will help the charity make informed decisions on which projects to select, that best represent young peoples’ passions and to strengthen their understanding of what life is like for teenagers living in and around the national park.

Lake District Foundation - Fix the FellsAnother milestone came in late 2018, when thousands of pounds were raised for a massive project to fix the well-worn footpaths of England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike.

The Lake District Foundation - a fundraising partner of the ‘Fix the Fells’ project, turned to the masses to help raise the money, raising awareness of the British Mountaineering Council’s ‘Mend our Mountains’ crowdfunding campaign.

The Lake District mountain was one of 13 different locations for a fundraising drive, with a total of £14,932 being raised in just 51 days. Now, the money raised will be passed from the LDF to the Fix the Fells project for Scafell Pike.

The campaign won the support of world-renowned mountaineer Sir Chris Bonington, who told the charity he hopes the well-trodden routes will be made more robust and future-proof thanks to hundreds of generous donations.

The iconic Scafell Pike is classed as Fix the Fells’ number one priority for path repair work in the Lake District, due to the thousands of people who climb the mountain every year.

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The charity has also revealed five more projects set to receive funding from its grant fund, sharing out £16,000 between five schemes from across Cumbria.

The chosen projects were awarded funding based on criteria including the impact of each one; links to World Heritage Site status; community involvement; and partnership working. Today, the LDF has confirmed funding for the following projects:

• The Adopt a Beck Project will deliver practical measures to improve the habitat of Dash beck for a range of wildlife, particularly salmon and trout, and improve the safety and accessibility of the footpath from Bassenthwaite village to the lake. The activities will be undertaken by volunteers where appropriate, providing opportunities to learn about the stream and the threats it faces. This will include bank stabilisation, Himalayan balsam pulling, fencing off the beck from livestock and monitoring activities. The project will also include a training day for landowners on coppicing with Cumbria Woodlands.

• The Making it Count for Wildlife project by Cumbria Local Nature Partnership will review and identify the priorities and strategies for caring for our wildlife in Cumbria. Looking at whole landscapes and ecosystems, they will identify projects that deliver bigger, better more joined-up habitats and resilient, well-functioning ecosystems. Over the years we’ve invested in many great projects which support individual species and whole habitats, and this project will help us to take a step back and look at the wider Cumbrian picture to ensure that future funding is invested in the best possible places and projects, and with the right people involved to deliver measurable benefits for wildlife, place and people.

• In the Haweswater Woodland Planting Project local volunteers will help plant 400 individually protected native trees on a carefully selected area of Mardale Common, extending the existing ancient woodland and contributing to the resilience of the iconic Lake District landscape, as older trees are lost. The new open woodland will create important habitat for wildlife and improve soil stability, slowing the flow of rainwater from the fell, helping to reduce flood risk and improving the quality of drinking water from the Haweswater catchment. Local people will gain new skills through our fun, weekly conservation work-party.

• The Lakeland Arctic-Alpine Vegetation Restoration Project aims to increase the populations of threatened and restricted numbers of arctic-alpine species on the crags of the Helvellyn range in the Lake District National Park. Some species, often at the southern edge of their range and nationally important, have had their numbers reduced through combinations of collecting, grazing and recreation. Climate change is also a future threat against which increased, more robust populations will have a better chance of survival. They will work with expert advice from Natural England but also the local community on plant and seed propagation.

• Community Heritage will deliver a series of community workshops throughout Cumbria & the Lake District which will help residents understand and take ownership of the Cultural Heritage of the Lake District World Heritage Site. Residents will explore the benefits, opportunities and challenges presented by WHS and be encouraged to embrace and celebrate their own cultural heritage. The main outcome is to open channels for dialogue between LDNP partners and communities and to build the capacity for place-making initiatives, using WHS and Cultural Heritage as a catalyst to nurture pride of place.

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The LDF has enlisted the support of serial record-breaker Sean Conway, who is the charity’s Adventure Ambassador. The endurance adventurer, author and motivational speaker became the first person to cycle, swim, and run the length of Great Britain, from Land’s End to John O’Groats. In 2016 he completed the world’s longest triathlon, a 4,200-mile journey around the coast of Britain. This year he also became the fastest person to cycle unsupported across Europe from Portugal to Russia.

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The Lake District Foundation, registered charity number 1174201, inspires people to donate to projects that care for the spectacular wildlife, landscapes and cultural heritage of the Lake District and Cumbria. The LDF supports the delivery of the shared aims of the Lake District National Park Partnership as the main fundraising and grant making partner.

This is achieved through innovative and successful fundraising campaigns locally, nationally and internationally. The Lake District Foundation encourages partners to work together to ensure a coordinated approach to fundraising and income generation. For more information visit www.lakedistrictfoundation.org.

Lake District Foundation

Countryside Code

Respect, Protect, Enjoy

The Countryside Code sets out a simple and easy to use code of conduct to help you get the most out of visitng the area whilst respecting others, protecting the environment and enjoying your visit.

The three main points are summarised below:

Respect

Consider the local community and other people enjoying the outdoors.

Please respect the needs of local people and visitors alike.
Co-operate with people at work in the countryside, such as farmers.

Leave gates and property as you find them and follow paths unless wider access is available

Farmers will normally close gates to protect and keep farm animals in, so please leave gates as you find them.
If unsure, then please check, there may be a sign nearby with instruction.

 

Protect

Leave no trace of your visit and take your litter home.

In Cumbria, we have a unique and beautiful landscape, with fells and coastline alike. Please ensure that if camping, you take all possessions and litter home with you. Likewise any cooking equipment and water bottles.

Keep dogs under effective control

The Cumbrian countryside can be a great place to let your dog have a run, but please ensure the safety of all animals, be considerate to other people and keep your dog controlled and on a lead whenever you are near farm land with livestock. Please always be considerate and clean up after your dog.

 

Enjoy

Enjoy the outdoors

Cumbria is an amazing area for all types of outdoor pursuits. Make the most of the breathtaking landscape and superb range of activities on offer.

Plan ahead and be prepared

Its always best to make sure you have an up-to-date map or guidebook when you go out exploring the county. Be mindful of weather conditions and remember they can change suddenly, especially on mountains, and this can leave you disorientated if you are not sure of your route. Check weather forecasts before you leave home and never be afraid to turn back.

When visiting the coast, check tide times and don't risk getting cut off by rising tides.

Getting away from it all and finding a remote corner of the county all to yourself is appealing, but remember mobile phone signals can be patchy in some areas so always let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return.

More information on safety when enjoying the great outdoors can be found in our Adventure Capital section here.

 

The Countryside CodeYou can download a printable pdf copy of the Countryside Code HERE

More Information

Here is a list of organisations around Cumbria that are working to help conserve and protect the landscape, rivers and wildlife of the Lake District and Cumbria.

National Trust

The initial public love for the Lake District ignited a drive to protect and conserve the landscape, inspired by the thinking of William Wordsworth and John Ruskin, and sparked the foundation of the National Trust.

Lake District National Park

The governing body responsible for caring for and maintaining the Lake District National Park, ensuring over 3,100km of paths and bridleways are maintained and improved.

Lake District Foundation

An organisation ensuring the Lake District is an example of sustainable development in action, and a place where a prosperous economy, world-class visitor experiences and vibrant communities come together to sustain its spectacular landscape, wildlife and cultural heritage.


Fix the Fells

A team of skilled rangers and volunteers who repair and maintain the mountain paths in the Lake District with funding from donations and partners. This work reduces erosion scars and also helps protect the ecology and archaeological heritage of our beautiful landscape.


Cumbria Wildlife Trust

A voluntary organisation devoted solely to the conservation of the wildlife and wildplaces of Cumbria;  seeking to raise environmental awareness and conserve the full range of the UK's habitats and species.


RSPB Leighton Moss

Set in the beautiful and magnificent Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty overlooking Morecambe Bay, Leighton Moss is the largest reedbed in North West England and home to some special breeds such as Breeding Bitterns, Bearded Tits and Marsh Harriers. Part of the wider RSPB, Leighton Moss conserves and protects the site for the benefit of all it's wildlife and enjoyment of visitors.

Appleby-in-Westmorland

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