Lake District low-carbon initiative calls for support

Published on: 30 Jan 2018

A family walking the Ullswater Way

The Lake District National Park Partnership has reassessed its carbon footprint and is encouraging residents, businesses and visitors to support its efforts to reduce the impact of climate change on the Lake District.

An area-wide ‘low-carbon Lake District’ initiative, which seeks to tackle climate change, has reviewed the baseline carbon footprint in the Lake District, and for the first time has reviewed business emissions too.

Sam Hagon Strategy and Partnership Adviser at the Lake District National Park said: “Our approach is to decide what actions will deliver the largest carbon savings. We have a focus on visitor travel as transport has become more important since the previous assessment. Accommodation, food and drink are also important as combined they make up the second largest area of greenhouse gas emissions.”

Residents of the Lake District can join the initiative too by making lifestyle changes, no matter how small. For example,

  • Drinking from the tap instead of buying bottled water can be up to 1000 times less carbon intensive.
  • If you swapped your bottle of imported lager for a pint of locally brewed ale, the carbon saving would be equivalent to driving one mile. Cumbria has over thirty microbreweries so there’s no shortage!
  • Tomatoes grown in artificially heated greenhouses in winter can be 100 times more carbon intensive than those grown locally and in season. Keep an eye out for locally produced food and embrace the UK seasons.
  • Buy seasonal and local fruit and vegetables to keep yourself and your carbon footprint healthy.
  • If you need an excuse to keep up your January diet then how about this, a cheese burger has a carbon footprint of about 2.5 kg CO2e, that’s four and a half miles in an average car or 15 miles by train! In fact, you can eat 250 locally grown apples for the same amount of carbon.

The climate change subgroup of the Lake District National Park Partnership took a pioneering approach in 2010 by setting out the first ‘carbon budget’ for a local area with the target of reducing the emission of carbon, and other greenhouse gases, by 1 percent per year. It has now taken a look back at the learning so far.

Sam Hagon added: “It is good practice to review the methodology used in the carbon budget at regular intervals. This review, seven years since the scheme launched, allowed us to identify what may be required to achieve greater carbon savings so that we are clear which actions make the biggest difference.

“Collectively we’ve saved over 340,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, from activities such as sustainable transport initiatives, installing hydroelectric schemes and planting new trees. We are now saving almost 100,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. That’s equivalent to the carbon footprint of 5,600 people in the Lake District – or six times the population of Coniston.”

The Lake District National Park is encouraging people to be efficient in their use of travel as part of its Get Fit in the Lakes campaign, which is motivating people to walk, run, cycle and even swim around the Lake District in a bid to look after themselves and the environment.

To read the full carbon budget report visit

Photo shows a family walking the Ullswater Way route where you can travel sustainably around the valley by boat, bus or on foot.

Photo credit LDNP/Val Corbett.

Share this page