National Park Rangers maintaining hedge in Ullswater

East Distinctive Area

The rugged and craggy high fells of Helvellyn, Fairfield and High Street are split by the two upland valleys of Ullswater and Haweswater / Lowther. Farmland fringes the north-eastern margin of the East area, which contrasts with the high fells.

The East distinctive area is predominantly rural and tranquil and has the lowest population of any of the distinctive areas. Glenridding / Patterdale is the largest settlement, with other smaller villages including Askham, Pooley Bridge and Penruddock.  

Ullswater is one of the four navigable lakes in the National Park, whilst Haweswater is a reservoir providing water supplies for the North West of England.

Watch our video

Find out more about the Ullswater Way – a community project to create a new, 20-mile walking route that connects the spectacular scenery along the shores of Ullswater with the picturesque villages and attractions.

Contact details for your local team 


Rowing on Grasmere © Dave Willis

Your Area Ranger Suzy Hankin

Suzy is the Area Ranger for the East Area of the Lake District. Please get in touch with Suzy if you have any queries or enquiries about our work in the East, potential projects or community fund applications.

Contact details

You can contact Suzy with any general enquiries relating to the East of the Lake District.

Tel: 01768 871409 Mobile: 07799 075114
E-mail suzy.hankin@lakedistrict.gov.uk

Key information  

Community fund information:

A fund has been created for projects which are led by, or of benefit to, the resident communities of the Lake District National Park. Find out more about the community fund.

Grants so far: East Distinctive Area

Key updates and news

Take a look at what's going in and around the East of the Lake District:

A team of National Park volunteers and rangers were joined by over 50 John Muir Award students last week to plant more than 200 trees on the Ullswater lakeshore near Pooley Bridge. This was part of a scheme aimed to add ecological value and reduce the threat of flooding.

Along with the many benefits trees provide, the roots will help stabilise the ground to reduce erosion and lower the risk of flooding in the area. The tree species; aspen, willow, alder and crab apple, were recommended by Natural England and kindly donated by The Woodland Trust. In time, they will create future nesting sites and a vital source of food for wildlife.

Lake District National Park Flood Ranger, Nick Hall, said that the mature alder trees present were dying, leaving the lake shore area and the Ullswater Way footpath vulnerable to erosion and flooding. In support of this, a concerned farmer agreed the works and stepped forward to help.  

Nick explained “We used peat-free compost made from locally sourced pot-ash rich bracken harvested from the fells above the site, which is then combined with Herdwick wool by Dale Foot compost. This ingenious compost was kindly donated and will give the trees a much better start on this exposed site, where the ground is short of nutrients.

“The communities around Ullswater have unfortunately seen the effects of flooding first hand, so it was fantastic to work alongside local businesses, farmers and landowners together with students on such a rewarding and important project. We look forward to seeing the trees grow and hope the users of the Ullswater Way will benefit from the trees and enjoy the wildlife in years to come.”

With special thanks to:
The Outward Bound Trust, Dalefoot Compost and The Woodland Trust, for their kind donations and help which made the scheme possible.

Photo shows tree planting on the shore of Ullswater, undertaken by Lake District National Park staff and John Muir Award students.

Completed tree planting work on the Ullswater lake shore.


Ullswater Litter Pick 2018

For several years Distant Horizons have organised canoe-based litter picks on Ullswater in a bid to help make it a cleaner place to live, visit and enjoy. This year they are joining forces with Lake District National Park volunteers and Young Rangers who will also collect litter from key sites around Ullswater and along the Ullswater Way.

When is it happening?
Sunday 18 March 2018, 1pm to 4pm at Eusemere Car Park, Pooley Bridge and Another Place, Watermillock.

How can I get involved?
On the water, Distant Horizons will utilise their fleet of canoes launching from Another Place, Watermillock, to enable volunteers to easily access the shoreline to gather litter which has blown down the lake during the winter months.

Distant Horizons will provide qualified canoe guides, all canoe equipment, buoyancy aids etc, and will raft the canoes together to make sturdy litter carrying vessels.

On land, volunteers will collect litter from key locations around Ullswater, and along the Ullswater Way.We will provide all litter picking equipment, so all you need to do is bring yourselves, wellies and warm/waterproof clothing.

For more details and to register for either canoeing, or the land based litter pick: please ring 01768 871409 or email suzyhankin@lakedistrict.gov.uk

We really hope you can come and join us!


The Ullswater Valley Plan – What happened!?

The Ullswater Valley Plan was a pilot project set up to identify opportunities and ambitions of a local community within a Lake District Valley. The Ullswater Valley was chosen, and over 6 months through consultation and workshops with local people the Ullswater Valley Plan was produced in 2014.

The Plan has led to a number of projects being developed and pursued:

Prosperous Economy:

  • The Ullswater Association produced a Marketing Strategy for the Ullswater Valley and redeveloped the Ullswater Association website, supported by the Lake District Communities Fund. The new website provides comprehensive information to support visitors to the local area.  
  • ‘See More Cumbria and the Lake District’ – a Department of Transport funded project helped to support the development of an open top bus service on the 508 route, as well as Twizy hire at a number of visitor attractions in the valley, and additional funding helped to research coach parking feasibility in the Pooley Bridge area.

Vibrant Communities:

  • The Ullswater Way – identified within Ullswater Valley Plan and launched in 2016 and included the development of a 20 mile walking route around the Ullswater Valley including improving furniture, surfacing, the creation of 2.5km of new public footpath and marketing and promoting the route. The route provides a sustainable visitor attraction in the local area which visitors and locals can enjoy.  
  • Friends of the Ullswater Way – developed following on from the Ullswater Way. a local group of residents have produced an amazing development of cultural art installations to celebrate local heritage and culture. The LDNP Communities Fund have supported a number of the installations.  
  • Youth Projects – following an initial project working with Outward Bound in 2014 The LDNP have supported a number of projects in the Valley including a Glenridding Sailing youth club during Summer 2015; supporting Penrith Canoe Club to re-locate during the summer months to Ullswater Sailing Club, and funding ‘Have a Go’ sessions for children from 5 local primary schools to take part in outdoor activities with local providers during September 2017.

Environment:

  • There was an aspiration to restore views of Ullswater from key locations around the lake itself. Two small areas of woodland have been cleared near Pooley Bridge end of the Lake, alongside larger areas of tree felling by the National Trust along the side of the lake beneath Gowbarrow.

The Ullswater Valley Plan continues to provide evidence and support for projects within the Ullswater area. For more information about the project see: www.lakedistrict.gov.uk/ullswatervalleyplanning


Ullswater Way work continues!

The Ullswater Way has been a phenomenal triumph since its official launch in April 2016. The local community, landowners, businesses, partner organisations and volunteers have all been instrumental in its creation and its continuing success. The 20 mile route is now enhanced with an inspirational Heritage Trail, a series of installations from local artists and craftspeople, which celebrates an aspect of the Valley’s heritage.

Recently people counters have been installed at 2 sites on either side of the lake to monitor footfall and provide evidence of its continuing success.  Volunteers have been regularly downloading the data from the counters and during August over 11,000 people were estimated to have passed the sensor at Sandwick.

The Ullswater Way continues to exceed everyone’s expectations and one of the greatest challenges is to ensure that the high standard of the route is maintained. Volunteers regularly patrol the route to report any maintenance works that are required and in 2017 our Tourist Information Centre along with other local businesses and hotels are selling Ullswater Way pin badges with donations raised going to the Ullswater Way Maintenance Fund. For more information on the Ullswater Way visit  www.ullswater.com and  www.ullswaterway.co.uk.

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