A number of low carbon projects are running throughout the Lake District to help tackle the climate emergency and promote best practice in the National Park.
The National Park Authority and a range of partners are collectively looking at innovative ways to help local businesses, residents and visitors lower their carbon footprints. The Low Carbon Lake District initiative is funded by the European Structural Investment Fund and European Regional Development Fund.
Some of the projects already underway include:
Richard Leafe, Chief Executive of the Lake District National Park Authority said: “We are delighted to be showcasing a number of new technologies at our offices and visitor centre which have helped us reduce our carbon budget over the past year.
“During lockdown we have worked to make our buildings more sustainable and improving insulation where possible. We’ve also installed cutting edge lake source heat pump technology and innovative solar charging canopies at our visitor centre, Brockhole.”
“And, knowing that our staff do still need to travel to the four corners of the park to look after this special place, we have replaced most of our fleet with electric vehicles to help our Rangers go about their business in a more sustainable way. We’ve also improved our charging capabilities at our buildings to enable our Rangers, other staff members and the general public make use of these new facilities.”
The Lake District Foundation opened the Grant Scheme for registrations in April 2021 and received over 50 registrations from local businesses in the first two months. Of those organisations, 16 so far have gone on to submit full applications for a range of projects from solar panels to LED lighting, and air source heat pumps to energy efficient refrigeration systems.
Sarah Swindley Chief Executive of the Lake District Foundation said: “It’s fantastic news that there’s been such a great take up with these grants already and there is also a significant interest in support for electric vehicle charge points for use by operational vehicles and visitor travel. The Grants Scheme can support SMEs and community groups across a wide range of sectors and will reopen for registrations at the end of September 2021. Watch this space for more information on how to register your interest.”
Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, Gill Haigh added: “A sustainable Cumbria is vital to the continuing strength and growth of the visitor economy and therefore a core theme running throughout our activity.We have worked in partnership for many years to inspire sustainable travel both to and within the county and many businesses and visitors have growing expectations and desires around eco-friendly and carbon zero holiday experiences. There is great appetite from Cumbria’s tourism sector to deliver against this agenda and many brilliant examples of best practice.
“As we work collectively as a county to promote more sustainable ways of doing things, I’d urge tourism businesses to look out for the new grants being announced in the next few weeks to help them find practical ways to work towards Net Zero – and in many cases, save money in the process.”
Our photo shows one of the electric car charging points and a Lake District National Park electric vehicle, just one of the many projects underway in the Lake District to cut carbon and tackle the climate emergency.
The Low Carbon Lake District initiative is a comprehensive programme to help tackle climate change in the National Park, working in partnership with local businesses and communities to reduce greenhouse gases and prepare for the impacts of climate change. Led by the Lake District National Park Authority, other key partners include the Lake District Foundation, the National Trust, South Lakeland District Council and Cumbria Tourism.