First grant of the year!

Thanks to businesses across Cumbria that were busy fundraising last year, we were delighted to be able to make a grant of £ 2,913 to Red Squirrels Northern England this week (12th January 2018).

The red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) is the only species of squirrel native to England.  As a native species, the red squirrel is an integral part of our countryside and our natural heritage.  Red Squirrels Northern England (RSNE) is a red squirrel conservation partnership working right across northern England.

RSNE conduct an annual red and grey squirrel monitoring programme in 294 sites across northern England. The programme, which involves surveys using trail cameras, visual walks through woodlands, or observed squirrel feeders, has now successfully delivered annual range monitoring for 6 years.

Red squirrels captured on a trail camera during monitoring at Smardale Gill, Cumbria, spring 2017

Around 150 people were involved in surveys across the project area, and 72% of all surveys were carried out by volunteers, managed by project staff.

RSNE manages all of the data for northern England, working with other conservation organisations, private estates and over 30 local community red squirrel groups to capture all of the effort being put in to conserve reds.

Volunteers setting up hair tubes to survey for squirrels in Grizedale as part of the RSNE spring 2017 monitoring programme

The team has also been involved in a national project, Red Squirrels United, working with partners in Wales, Northern Ireland and Lancashire to conserve reds. The partnership is offering unique opportunities to share working practices and ideas with other projects, is helping encourage more community participation, and is gathering important information on public attitudes to red squirrel conservation.

There is also a scientific element to the project, and field data recorded by RSNE is being analysed by Newcastle University in order to support the collective work to protect reds become more efficient.

You can help RSNE to monitor the population of red squirrels by logging your sightings of red squirrels on the RSNE website.


Exciting plans unveiled at our launch event

Exciting new plans have today been unveiled by brand-new charity the Lake District Foundation, which aims to help sustain the UK’s newest UNESCO World Heritage Site.

With donors, local businesses and beneficiaries of the charity in attendance, the new Director Sarah Swindley introduced adventurer and author Sean Conway as official ambassador of the foundation.

Mr Conway said: “I moved to the Lake District for one reason; to do all the various activities that are my oxygen for life. Swimming, cycling, running, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, the list goes on. It’s all on my doorstep and I love it. I really want to be able to help people make the most of this wonderful corner of Britain and preserve it for generations to come and that’s exactly what The Lake District Foundation does. It encourages the people using the landscape to look after it and to improve it for the future.”

The new charity builds on the legacy of Nurture Lakeland with the aim to increase ‘visitor giving’ from the millions of people who enjoy the Lake District every year. As well as visitors, the Lake District Foundation also encourages tourism businesses to play their part in looking after the environment.

At the event at Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa, Windermere, it was announced that the foundation will distribute income to worthy projects such as the Keswick to Threlkeld Multi User Trail and organisations like Fix the Fells.

Sarah Swindley, Director of Lake District Foundation said: “It’s an exciting time for The Lake District. After being recognised globally by UNESCO we felt it was time to raise our organisation’s ambitions and increase the impact we have.

“Nurture Lakeland did some incredible work over the years and we’re now ready to push ourselves further. The number of people visiting the Lake District grows each year so now is a real opportunity to increase visitor giving and distribute the income into effective projects and extend the reach of our charitable campaigns.”


The Lake District Foundation Launch Event

Exciting plans are to be unveiled for a new charity which will help sustain the UK’s newest UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Lake District Foundation will launch next month, with the aim of encouraging both visitors and communities to help care for the spectacular landscape, wildlife and cultural heritage of the National Park.

The new charity builds on the legacy of Nurture Lakeland and will be formally launched at a special event on Friday 15 December at The Low Wood Resort & Spa, Windermere.

The launch will be a chance for the charity’s trustees and newly-appointed Director, Sarah Swindley to showcase the ambitions and priorities of the Lake District Foundation and to launch their first fundraising campaigns to the Cumbrian business community, residents and other potential partners.

The Lake District Foundation will distribute income to worthy projects and organisations sand one of its key aims will be to increase donations to support this valuable work, including the value of ‘visitor giving’ from the millions of people who enjoy the Lake District every year.

Director of The Lake District Foundation, Sarah Swindley says: “It’s an exciting time for The Lake District. After being recognised globally by UNESCO we felt it was time to raise our organisation’s ambitions and increase the impact we have.

“Nurture Lakeland did some incredible work over the years and we’re now ready to push ourselves further, increase visitor giving and distribute the income into effective projects and extend the reach of our charitable campaigns.”

As well as showcasing The Lake District Foundation’s exciting plans for the future, the launch event will include first-hand experiences from potential beneficiaries of the new charity’s grant giving scheme and show businesses practical ways they can get involved.

There will also be a panel session with trustees, grant recipients and donors and time at the event to network with likeminded businesses and individuals.

Tickets to the launch event are free and can be booked here:

For more information follow @LakesFoundation on Twitter.

Japanese Tour Operators support conservation in the Lake District

Last year members of the Japan Forum collectively raised over £13,000 to help the National Trust to improve the footpath access around Beatrix Potter’s beautiful farmhouse, Hill Top, in Near Sawrey.

The generous donations of visitors choosing to book their tour with Japan Forum businesses will be used to support the off-road path project between Hawkshead and Near Sawrey. The aim of the project is to create a fully off-road route, which will make it both safer and more enjoyable for those moving between Hawkshead and Near Sawrey.

Last year, the following businesses were involved:

  • TDR Tour’s Express, Inc.
  • Worldbridge, Inc.
  • JTB World Vacations, Inc.
  • Nippon Travel Agency Co., Ltd.
  • JTB Media-Retailing, Corp.
  • Jalpak Co., Ltd
  • Hankyu Travel International Co.,Ltd.
  • JTB Tokyo Metropolitan Corp.
  • Hankyu Travel International Co.,Ltd.
  • Eurasia Travel Co.,Ltd.

Here are some pictures of our member businesses celebrating another successful year!

Eurasia Travel

Hankyu Travel International

Hanshin Friend Tour


JTB Media Retailing

TDR Tours Express

World Bridge

New Director for Nurture Lakeland

In the same week that the Lake District was awarded World Heritage Site status, we were delighted to appoint a new director of Nurture Lakeland, Sarah Swindley.

This marks an exciting time for Nurture Lakeland. We recently submitted an application to the Charity Commission to set up the Lake District Foundation, which will build on the work of Nurture Lakeland and will secure our place as one of the leading charities raising funds for the conservation, protection and improvement of the physical and natural environment and cultural heritage of the Lake District.

Sarah says, “I am so excited to be taking on this new role at such an important time in the history of the Lake District. The Lake District National Park Partnership and the Trustees of Nurture Lakeland have big plans for the future and my first job will be to oversee the launch of the Lake District Foundation, a new charity that will build on the legacy of Nurture Lakeland and help deliver this shared vision. To be able to take both the skills I have acquired over many years as a charity leader and my love of the natural world into this role is the opportunity of a lifetime”.

Sarah comes to Nurture Lakeland from her previous role as CEO of Lancashire Women’s Centres where since 2011 she has successfully developed the size, turnover and impact of the charity. She has managed the organisation through a period of constant change and has won awards for designing and delivering innovative projects.

Gill Houston, chair of Nurture Lakeland board of trustees says, “We are delighted that Sarah is joining Nurture Lakeland. There are ever increasing numbers of visitors coming to the Lake District which gives us both a greater opportunity and a greater need to inspire visitors to help protect the natural environment. Sarah will be instrumental in enabling us to deliver our strategy to do this”.

Sarah is due to take up her new position in September 2017.

Sarah Swindley

News from our beneficiaries: the National Trust

National Trust invites collaboration in response to challenges facing the Lake District

The National Trust, which directly looks after a fifth of the Lake District, is inviting local communities and expert organisations to join it in responding to challenges facing the Lake District. Included in those, says the conservation charity, are climate change, declining wildlife, the viability of hill farming and the impact of Brexit.

Nurture Lakeland supports some of the work of the National Trust by liasing with Japanes tour companes to invite donations from customers to support conservation work at Beatrix Potter’s former home, Hill Top.

The National Trust has set out seven principles to guide its work in the Lake District in the hope that this will lead to more effective ways of working with others.

The principles are based on understanding that the Lake District landscapes have changed and adapted for thousands of years, including to the evolving needs of people. The principles are to: protect the natural and cultural fabric of the Lake District; work with nature; be guided by the lie of the land; adapt to the changing needs of society; find shared purpose; work with others; and, take the long view.

National Trust Assistant Director of Operations, Mike Innerdale, says the principles form a positive base for developing critical relationships and conversations that will enable the Trust to do more for nature, whilst also championing the cultural heritage and way of life that needs to continue if this globally significant and inspirational landscape is to be maintained and improved. Many of the issues the Trust sets out are at the heart of the Lake District National Park Management Plan and also the World Heritage Site bid.

As Mike Innerdale explains:

“We’re entering a new chapter in the history of the Lakes and how this landscape is being managed. Working with and being informed by our farm tenants, who manage much of the land in our ownership, as well as those who manage neighbouring land, will be critical. We recognise that we don’t have all the answers and we will achieve far more through collaboration.

“The implications of Brexit in particular is an area we want to make sure we are working with others on as funding for much of our land management comes, currently, from Europe. We think providing benefits to society that include clean water, healthy soils, high quality food, flood protection and access provides the best case for securing ongoing support and funding for the Lake District and its landscapes and we see a shared purpose in this.

“Nature underpins all of this but it is not in universal good health. There is clear evidence that we are losing soils, wildlife has declined and our rivers are in a pattern of repeat flooding. We need to address this by collaborating with those who know the landscape inside out and manage it with us.” he added.

The Trust’s new working principles were developed in consultation with key stakeholders over a 10 month period. ‘Looking After the Lakes’ also gives examples of these principles in practice such as through the Wild Ennerdale Partnership and Fix the Fells and people can find out more online at and follow the story on social media using #lookingafterthelakes.

News from our members: James Bell Photography

A special offer from fantastic local photographer and long-standing supporter of Nurture Lakeland, James Bell.

James Bell is a long-standing supporter of Nurture Lakeland and has now produced his first Lake District Landscape Photography book – “Capture Lakeland volume 1”.

James is an extremely talented photographer and over the years he has very generously allowed Nurture Lakeland to use his images to help raise our profile – you may recognise some of his work on your fundraising and membership certificates, and on our website!

The new book is now open for pre-order with deliveries later this summer, and everyone who places an order before 24th July will have their name printed in the book and also receive 2 signed and numbered prints. Follow this link to place your order.

If you are interested in retailing this beautiful book in your business, please do get in touch with James.


Fix the Fells Project Update 2016-17

Fix the Fells (FTF) is a long-term partnership programme which aims to protect our spectacular Lakeland fells from erosion by maintaining and repairing the paths. Most of the work is funded by donations, legacies and grants. Last year Nurture Lakeland business fundraisers raised over £19,000 for Fix the Fells through the Visit Give Protect Scheme. The generous donations from visitors will help to protect the Lake District landscape for everyone to enjoy.

The National Trust specialist Upland Ranger Teams carry out much of the repair work, usually focussing on a handful of major projects each year. They are assisted by volunteers, referred to as ‘lengthsmen’, a term used in medieval times for someone paid to walk the length of the parish and repair any road and unblock ditches.

Fix the Fells rangers and volunteers work year-round to protect our spectacular Lakeland fells from erosion by maintaining and repairing the paths. Over the last year they have been working on both new projects and repairs and general maintenance on the whole path network across the Lake District National Park.

Projects in 2016/17 included work on the Brown Tongue path on Scafell Pike, Glencoyne/Seldom Seen, Dollywaggon, Thesthwaite Cove and Rigghead, to name but a few.

Volunteers had an exceptional year of activity, completing 593 drain runs, gifting 2,030 upland days in total and helping to maintain and repair more than 250 upland paths – the most successful year since the volunteer programme was launched in 2007!

In 2017/18 the Fix the Fells teams will be undertaking a major work programme to repair the devastating damage caused to upland paths by Storm Desmond in December 2015. Funded by the Rural Payments Agency, almost 2,500 man days will be required to mend the designated paths, including popular routes on Cat Bells, Helvellyn and Haystacks, while machine work will take place on 7,000-metres of path and hundreds of tonnes of stone will be lifted by helicopter onto the fells.

Thank you for helping to protect this wonderful landscape.

fix the fells fix the fells fix the fells

Small Grants Fund and Ullswater Environment Recovery Fund

small grants

The Small Grants Fund and Ullswater Environment Recovery Fund are now open for applications. Deadline for submissions: 5pm Tuesday 1st August 2017

If you are running a project in Cumbria and are looking for funding, we may be able to help with a small grant of up to £1,000 to cover all or part of the cost of the project.

Find out more at:

Take a look at examples of projects that we have funded in the past here:

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