Workmen installing solar panels copyright Sundog Ltd

Low-carbon Lake District

Low-carbon Lake District logo

How will climate change affect the Lake District?

The Lake District of 2050 could 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 there are real benefits if we act quickly. 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.

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.

Our work to create a Low-carbon Lake District includes:

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.

GoLakes Travel Programme (opens in new window): 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.

Carbon and Land Management: We offer information and advice on managing land for carbon, through a collaborative project with the University of Cumbria.

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
. We updated this in 2014 and again in 2015. In 2013 we worked with the Ullswater community, through our Valley Planning process, to produce a guide for communities.

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?

You can read more details about the science of climate change, or take a look at Climate science explained - short guide by Green Alliance (opens in new window)

Are you thinking about installing more eco-friendly energy? Check out our renewable energy page. For biomass fuel systems, our co-funded Warmth from wood booklet (opens in new window) has some great real-life examples.

Support Fix the Fells (opens in new window) - to protect upland footpaths and save carbon.

If you're looking for a like-minded business, Nurture Lakeland's Green Business Directory (opens in new window) could help.


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).