Coronavirus (Covid-19) news

Stay Safe

Last updated: 24 May 2020

Safer Lakes.

Please help protect our communities, observe social distancing and stay safe.

When the time is right, we look forward to welcoming visitors back to the Lake District. We are working with our local partners to put measures in place that will help keep people safe.

Check which car parks and toilets  are open and busy across the Lake District National Park

Many car parks across the National Park are now open. Some public toilets are now open.
We are patrolling car parks across the Lake District National Park daily, and will update the status on each visit. If a car park is red, please do not travel to this area, choose somewhere less busy, you might discover a great new place to enjoy!

This is a partnership of organisations across the National Park to cover as many car parks as possible.


Our message to our communities and our visitors:

Updated: 24 May 2020

Richard Leafe, the Lake District National Park Authority’s Chief Executive said:

“We would like to thank people for listening to our call not to rush back to the Lake District. Last weekend, we found a largely quiet national park, and those who did visit the park respected social distancing and our local communities. Their actions are helping protect everyone who lives in, visits and enjoys the Lake District.

“We continue to encourage people to exercise locally. However, if you do visit the Lake District, please plan ahead: find a safe place to park using saferlakes.co.uk, remember many of our public toilets remain closed and it’s not currently possible to stay overnight. We look forward to welcoming visitors back to a fuller Lake District experience, when the time is right.”

We are working with partners across Cumbria as part of the Local Resilience Forum to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

Full details of the changes being introduced from 13 May can be found on the Government's website.

Here is specific Government guidance on spending time outdoors from 13 May.


Around the National Park:

The Lake District National Park is open but we are urging people to not rush back to the area, to help our communities stay safe and maintain social distancing.

Nearly all attractions, shops, and accommodation providers are closed, for now. Only essential shops such as supermarkets and pharmacies and businesses are open.

If you have booked a holiday in the Lake District for the summer, please keep up to date with the latest government advice for future travel.

We all miss the Lake District National Park. Please follow us on social media, Twitter and Facebook for regular updates. And our webcam page will show the views from around the Lake District to enjoy until we can welcome you back.

Public rights of way

Rights of ways are not being maintained in the usual way.

Many paths are near to farmers and local people's homes and their families. We need to ensure that they are kept safe so please observe the new temporary signage. Resources for farmers and landowners can be found below.

Some alternative permitted paths have been made available to maintain social distancing and protect residents and local communities. If you see a sign for a permitted path, please follow the way markers along the temporary route. Maintain social distance and hand wash or sanitise after touching any shared surfaces in line with government social distancing advice.

Car Parks

Many car parks around the Lake District National Park are now open. We have put social distancing measures in place to help our visitors stay safe, including contactless payment options, 2-metre queuing signs and online information to help people plan their visit.

We are now patrolling car parks across the Lake District National Park daily and will update the status on each visit. If a car park is red, please do not travel to this area, choose somewhere less busy, you might discover a great new place to enjoy!

Government advice remains that you are not allowed to stay overnight.

Toilets

We are working with partners to reopen some public toilets around the Lake District National Park where it is safe to do so.

Check which car parks and toilets are open and busy across the Lake District National Park

On the water

From 13 May you can take part in the following water based activities:

  • Go swimming in lakes as part of daily exercise provided that social distancing guidelines are observed - you cannot use public indoor and outdoor pools.
  • Participate in non-mechanically powered water sports practised on open waterways, including - sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, rowing, kayaking, surfing, paddle-boarding. Such access to and on / in the water must be lawful.
  • Use privately-owned motorised craft (in line with the guidance issued by the relevant navigation authority)  where it is lawful to do so and such use is only allowed for day trip use only.
  • Undertake fishing as long as relevant permits and permission are obtained.
  • Use smaller boats and craft where water access facilities are lawful and any associated parking is done lawfully.
  • But you are unable to utilise larger craft with accommodation overnight as these would be deemed similar to second homes / caravans

Please know your own capabilities on the water and do not place yourself or others at risk.

Emergency services may not be able to respond as quickly as they might have done before and this puts people at risk and is unfair to those that are volunteers in those services.

Our lake ranger patrols will restart to support people’s safe enjoyment of the water and will enforce as necessary where there are clear breaches of the byelaws that impact on safety or have negative environmental impacts.

We will work with other organisations such as the Police and South Lakeland District Council to ensure that people undertake their exercise in a way that complies with the coronavirus restrictions.

To protect staff and customers during the Coronavirus outbreak, new boat registrations cannot currently be undertaken at Ferry Nab or at the National Park office in Kendal. More info on how to do this electronically or by post can be found on the registration page.

Please keep up to date with current Government guidance

Camping

Campsites are not open, and Government advice continues to be that you must not stay out overnight. Please do not camp anywhere in the Lake District National Park at the moment.

Holiday Homes

Government advice continues to be that travelling to visit a holiday home is not allowed.

Brockhole on Windermere

Brockhole on Windermere will be closed to all visitors for now, including the playground and the car park. We are cancelling and will automatically refund all bookings for all activities and classes for the next few weeks. We will keep this under review.

The Brockhole closures page has more details regarding activity refunds and frequently asked questions.

Coniston Boating Centre

Coniston Boating Centre will be closed to all visitors for now. We are cancelling and will automatically refund all bookings for boat hire for the next few weeks. We will keep this under review.

The Coniston closures page has more details regarding activity refunds and frequently asked questions.

Visitor Information Centres

Our three information centres at Keswick, Bowness on Windermere and Ullswater will be closed to visitors from 18 March. You can contact our TIC staff for information about those areas of the National Park by email:

Or call our contact centre 01539 724555

Guided Walks, Navigation and Winter Skills Courses

We are currently not taking any more bookings for any of our courses. We are cancelling and will automatically refund all bookings for courses for the next few weeks. We will keep this under review.

If you have a booking for any course and want to cancel, email us at bookings@lakedistrict.gov.uk for a full refund.

For our communities and farmers:

We have 2 posters available to download and display. These are to help communicate the message of social distancing across the Lake District National Park.

Download Lake District Covid 19 message posters

Our Services:

Committee Meetings

Our committees are no longer meeting in person. Some meetings will be cancelled and this will be shown on that meetings page on our website. We are working on new ways to hold committee meetings and conduct Authority business using different forms of communication, like phone and web meetings. Some committee meetings will be going ahead in these new ways.

Planning Service

The Government has written to Local Planning Authorities telling them it is important they continue to provide the best service possible in these stretching times and prioritise decision-making to ensure the planning system continues to function, especially where this will support the local economy.

In line with these Government expectations the Authority is continuing to progress decision-making wherever possible, but in a way which protects its staff and the people they would normally interact with.

  • Our team are working from home wherever possible.
  • We aim to continue to inspect application sites where required and possible. All visits will be unaccompanied and we will not meet people.
  • If we need to visit your property because you have submitted a planning application, or because we need to assess the potential impacts of a planning application on your property, we will contact you beforehand to notify you of an unaccompanied visit. We will only visit a site if you agree for us to do so unaccompanied.
  • Applications validated on or after 24 March 2020 which would normally be publicised by site notice will, temporarily, also be publicised by letter to adjoining properties where possible.

Services suspended until further notice

  • Face to face meetings, including duty planner and surgeries
  • New written pre-application advice
  • Development Control Committee meeting

How to contact the Planning Service

Please use email if possible - planning@lakedistrict.gov.uk

Direct dial numbers for case planners are unlikely to be answered

For queries needing immediate attention, our main HQ phone number 01539 724555 will be answered, messages passed on, and calls returned.

Current applications

If you are sending comments, amended plans or other information in relation to an ongoing application, please forward those details to planning@lakedistrict.gov.uk

Please note, due to the rapidly changing situation the above approaches are subject to immediate change without notification or consultation.

Contact Centre at our HQ in Kendal

Our contact centre staff are still available, but not in person. Please email us on hq@lakedistrict.gov.uk or call 01539 724555

Volunteering

Our volunteering service is suspending all activities. We are also currently not recruiting any new volunteers.

Fell Top Assessors

The Fell Top Assessor season finished early this year as people should not be using the fells during the Coronavirus outbreak. Weatheline will still show the met office weather forecast feed.