Workmen installing solar panels copyright Sundog Ltd

Low-carbon Lake District

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How will climate change affect the Lake District?

The Lake District of 2050 will probably feel very different from today. As climate change takes hold, weather patterns will alter and extreme events will become more common. The coastline will change, as will conditions for all wildlife.

But the changes we need to make to move to a low-carbon Lake District will bring additional benefits to our communities and visitors. Resilient communities that cut their energy costs and generate renewable energy will prosper. So will tourism businesses that tap into the growing market for low-impact holidays. Transport options like bikes, boats, buses and, of course, boots are all low in carbon but high in fun and great for people's physical activity and mental health.

We can lock greenhouse gases into the landscape through good land management. Above all, we can encourage the millions of people who visit the Lake District to join us in taking action.

How are we tackling climate change?

In 2008 we launched the Low-carbon Lake District initiative. It is a comprehensive programme to tackle climate change in the National Park. We work in partnership with local businesses, communities and agencies to reduce greenhouse gases and prepare for the impacts of climate change.

Helping create a low-carbon Lake District

Local carbon budget: this UK first measures carbon emissions from the local area. We work with partners to meet reduction targets. Managed collectively by the Lake District National Park Partnership.

Carbon in the Lake District landscape: We have mapped the carbon currently stored in the Lake District, and calculated the amounts stored in peatlands and woodlands.

GoLakes Travel Programme: A three-year programme transforming how visitors get to, and travel around, the Central and Southern Lake District.

Our planning policies: these make sure development in the National Park meets the highest energy efficiency standards and, where possible, integrates low-carbon energy generation.

Our own carbon reduction: We have met our target to reduce our own carbon emissions by 25 per cent over four years. We are now committed to a rolling programme of carbon reduction.

Learning about climate: Our learning team has developed educational resources to help learning about climate change.

Adapting to climate change in the Lake District:

We are helping locals build resilience and adapt to a changing climate. In 2012 we published an initial assessment of risks, opportunities and actions for climate change adaptation in the Lake District.

Lake District Adaptation Report - updated 2014

Lake District Adaptation Report - updated 2015

Cumbria Carbon Footprint Report (PDF): We are working with local authorities in Cumbria and with the Local Enterprise Partnership, to measure and manage emissions across the county.

How can I contribute?

Everyone: You can read more details about the science of climate change, or take a look at Climate science explained - short guide by Green Alliance

Visitors: Try and travel to and around the Lake District on sustainable transport and support the Fix the Fells work to protect footpaths, and save carbon by preventing erorion.

Homeowners: think about renewable energy. For biomass fuel systems, our co-funded Warmth from wood booklet has some great real-life examples.

Land managers: Read our advice for managaing land for carbon


The work began in 2008, when we published The Low-carbon Lake District Report. This looks at the effects of climate change on the Lake District landscape and communities, investigates what is already being done to cut carbon, and helps chart a way forward. Read the full Low Carbon Lake District Report (4MB PDF)

The Low-carbon Lake District Initiative was launched at a conference in June 2008 in Kendal. Read the Low Carbon Lake District Conference Summary (Word document)

In July 2010 we held a follow-up Summit to bring together all those who have been working with us on the Low-Carbon Lake District Initiative. We took stock of our achievements and planned together for the future. We heard about successful initiatives elsewhere, and learnt what we could do better.

For details of the talks and workshop sessions, please read the Low Carbon Lake District Summit report (PDF).

Low Carbon Lake District is supported by the European Structural Investment Fund

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.

The project has received £4,216,868 funding from the England European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014- 2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Department for Work and Pensions (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) are the Managing Authorities for European Regional Development Fund and European Social Fund funding through the Growth Programme, funds established by the European Union to help local areas stimulate their economic development. By investing in projects the funds will help to support innovation, businesses, skills and employment to improve local growth and create jobs. For more information visit:

The Northern Powerhouse is a key aspect of this Government’s approach to addressing the productivity gap in the North and ensuring a stronger, more sustainable economy for all parts of the UK. Alongside over €1.5 billion of European Regional Development Fund support for businesses and communities across the North, the government has awarded £3.4 billion in three rounds of Growth Deals across the Northern Powerhouse. The European Social Fund has supported the Keswick to Threlkeld Multi User Trail, a lake source heat pump and energy efficiency enhancements to the White House at Brockhole, a solar powered (with battery backup) electric vehicle charging system and a demonstration of electric autonomous vehicles, also at Brockhole.

Low Carbon Lake District II - A range of projects are cutting carbon in the Lake District

The Low Carbon Lake District II Programme builds upon the successful Low Carbon Lake District I programme. 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.

The Lake District 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. The second round of ESIF and ERDF funded projects as part of Low Carbon Lake District II, runs from October 2019 until March 2023. These projects aim to support a ‘whole place’ Electric vehicle charging destination, community and business transition to low carbon, technological innovation and low carbon travel. Placing the Lake District at the forefront of action on climate change.

The projects already underway include:

  • A Low Carbon Lake District Green Grants Scheme to help small businesses and community organisations cut carbon, administered by Lake District Foundation, for more information please follow the link: Low Carbon Lake District Grants - Lake District Foundation
  • Electric car charging points being installed at various National Trust and National Park locations throughout the Lake District. National Trust electric vehicle charging points
  • Low Carbon technology installed at Ferry Nab car park on the shore of Windermere by South Lakeland District Council. South Lakeland District Council reducing carbon emissions
  • Planning for new and improved walking and cycle routes at Derwentwater in Keswick and a South Windermere trail.
  • A new hired electric fleet of cars and installation of charging infrastructure for Lake District National Park operations.
  • A number of new green technologies at the National Park Visitor Centre, Brockhole.