Workmen installing solar panels copyright Sundog Ltd

Low-carbon Lake District

Climate change will affect the Lake District landscape and communities

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. You can also read about low carbon Lake District projects and funding (2014-23).

We are tackling climate change in partnership

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.

Low-carbon Lake District logo

Helping create a low-carbon Lake District

We are part of the Zero Carbon Cumbria Partnership. Action to tackle climate change across Cumbria is led by a partnership of more than eighty organisations from all different walks of life in the county. Our vision is to work towards a net zero carbon county by 2037 with improved quality of life, people living in balance with their environment and a sustainable low carbon economy.

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.

Everyone can 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 erosion.

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 managing land for carbon

Background of Low-carbon Lake District

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).