Lake District News
A red squirrel has been spotted in the garden of local nature charity Cumbria Wildlife Trust at Plumgarths, Kendal.
The cute mammal, which is in decline in the UK, was spotted feasting at a peanut feeder at a bird feeding station in the grounds of Cumbria Wildlife Trust’s head office on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday last week and this Monday (13th, 15th, 16th and 19th November).
Michelle Waller, Cumbria Wildlife Trust’s Senior Development Officer, was the first to spot the red squirrel, she said: “I was really shocked when I looked out of the window and saw the squirrel. I thought it must have been a red-toned grey but it was clearly a healthy red stocking up on nuts. I grabbed the camera straight away as I knew photo proof is important for red squirrel records. I was excited and shouted my colleagues over take a look too.
“We’re really pleased it keeps coming back. The second time it came I was able to take some film which people can look at on our Facebook page.”
This is only the third time this year a red squirrel has been spotted near to Kendal so there is hope that this could be the start of a return of red squirrels to this area.
Barrow Borough Council has launched a roundabout and planting sponsorship scheme to encourage local business and organizations to work with the Council to improve the planting and appearance of key roundabouts and open spaces in the Borough. The Council is delighted to be working with Centrica Energy who has agreed to sponsor the roundabout at Rampside. The roundabout has been given a complete make over and is now a welcoming oasis of colour and a key gateway to the town when approaching Barrow on the coast road (A5087). The RHS through its Britain in Bloom initiative identifies the active involvement of local businesses in planting schemes across towns, including the sponsorship of displays as critical.
Barrow Borough Council has launched this initiative to encourage everyone to take a pride in the area and to “Love Barrow”. The funds raised through sponsorship are being spent on enhancing the planting schemes on 11 key roundabouts.
Wordsworth Daffodil Garden is now complete together with a paved pathway and plinth stone with the last stanza of the “Daffodil” poem inscribed on it.
User-friendly leaflets to help visitors appreciate the Lake District's most popular lakes of Windermere, Derwentwater, Ullswater and Coniston are now available from the regions Tourist Information Centres.
As part of a public transport initiative to help protect the Lake District National Park, Eco bus services have been introduced to encourage visitors to “Drive Less and See More”. The X33 Service links the Central Lakes with the Cumbrian West Coast running from Ambleside via Coniston, Broughton-in-Furness and onwards to Muncaster Castle and Ravenglass and operates daily from July 21st to September 9th. The X30 Service makes frequent journeys from Hawkshead to Tarn Hows and also Grizedale Forest. There's room for two bicycles on board. This service is currently operating at week-ends but will run daily from July 21st until September 9th and from then, at week-ends and school holidays until November 4th.
Thank you Japan
Over the last two years Japanese tourists to the Lake District & Cumbria have given £24,000 to conservation projects in the region as a result of co-operation between Nurture Lakeland's visitor giving scheme and nine Japanese tour operators.
The Olympic torch arrives in Bowness on Windermere
The Lake District & Cumbria stars in a new Hollywood film of “ Snowwhite and The Huntsman” with scenes shot in the beautiful Langdale Valley. The film will be shown from June 1st at Kendal's Brewery cinema and Zeffirellis in Ambleside.
The Lake District National Park has been named as the top camping destination in the world in a list compiled by website, Cheap Flights.
The Ullswater Valley has held it's first Beer & Music Festival raising funds for charity. There were 35 different Real Ales and more than 20 ciders and perries. It is intended this will be an annual event.
Praise for Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding from no less than the Prime Minister David Cameron in an article published by in “Caterer's & Hotelkeeper”.
A new 34 mile stretch of footpath has opened between Silecroft and Whitehaven. It is part of a scheme to link Hull on the east coast to Dorset via Hadrian s Wall and the new Wales Coast Path.
Esthwaite Trout Fishery near Hawkshead hope to introduce a two hour Osprey Safari Trip by boat on the waters of Esthwaite. For more information please contact Nigel Woodhouse, the owner of the Fishery.
Furness Abbey. A skeleton was discovered in an unknown unmarked grave during repairs to the abbey structure a couple of years ago. It lay in the presbytery, a place normally reserved for those of high importance and is believed to date from the 1350's to the early 1500's. The skeleton has now been established to be that of a "portly" abbot buried together with rare medieval jewellery and a silver and gilt crozier, a senior staff of office. Items will be on display at the abbey during the Bank Holiday Weekend of May 4th - 7th.
More Olympic Torch Route news
The torch arrives in Brough a little after 4pm on Wednesday June 20th before carrying on through Appleby on it’s journey to Carlisle. On the 21st, the torch continues south passing through Grasmere and Ambleside before going aboard the steamboat to Bowness. Here there will be an evening of festivities. The next day the torch departs from Kendal Castle and after a tour of Kendal takes the route out of Cumbria along the A6 via Milnthorpe.
A Jubilee Jam is being manufactured by Lakeland food specialist to mark the Queens Diamond Jubilee. The spread will use Lyth Valley damsons.
William wordsworth’s former home of Allan Bank which stands on a hillside above Grasmere is now open to the public for the first time in 200 years.
A new 1 kilometre long “Black Grade” mountain bike downhill trail has been opened in Grizedale Forest.
A new website has been launched by Honister Slate Mine to promote and celebrate the craftmanship of its miners and factory workers. Honister manufactures kitchen and dining products such as table mats, cheeseboards, wine racks and candle holders from its famous green slate. www.honistergreenslate.com
Lake District News January 2012
The Queen of the Lake, a wooden Lake Windermere based small tourist cruise boat wiil represent the Lake District & Cumbria during Jubilee celebrations in London by taking part in the procession on the Thames to mark the Queens Diamond Jubilee on June 3rd.
A team of injured military personnel are training in the Lake District for their attempt to be the first war-wounded to climb Mount Everest.
Cumbrian Alan Bell has been appointed as Chief Starter at the London 2012 Olympics.
JMW Turner's watercolour painting of the churchyard at St. Mary's Church in Kirkby Lonsdale has been sold for £200,000 at an auction in London.
The beauty and heritage of the English Lake District and the Lakeland poet, William Wordsworth, are to feature in the New York Times Number One Bestseller “1000 Places To See Before You Die”. This is a well deserved recognition of the region and is one more seal of approval in addition to the recently voted “Best Rural Break Destination” by readers of the Sunday Times magazine.
Lake District News September 2011
BBC Countryfile Magazine has voted the Lake District as the best National Park in the country.
The Lakes (railway) Line, linking Oxenholme on the West Coast main line, to Kendal, Burneside, Staveley and Windermere has experienced a large increase in passenger numbers and has been named as one of the top 10 Branch Lines in the country.
July 2011 - Cumbria’s red squirrels receive a major financial boost from local businesses
Two Cumbrian businesses have once again made a significant financial contribution to help save Cumbria’s red squirrels. Furness Building Society’s Red Squirrel Premier Savings Account has raised over £21,500 in the last year for this iconic animal while the sale of special red squirrel goods by Lake District Estates has contributed £1156.65 to its survival.
Cumbria Wildlife Trust, who is one of the partners in Red Squirrels Northern England (RSNE) and a long-standing supporter of red squirrel conservation, jointly received the cheque from Furness Building Society with RSNE’s Nick Mason, who also received Lake District Estates’ cheque, at a handover ceremony last week (12 July) at Langdale Hotel and Spa.
Michelle Waller from Cumbria Wildlife Trust remarked: ‘Cumbria Wildlife Trust is delighted to continue supporting red squirrel conservation. We have a long-standing relationship with Furness Building Society and it is wonderful that they and their customers choose to continue funding this beautiful native species. Langdale Hotel and Spa, one of the Trust’s key corporate members for 28 years, kindly hosted this event - providing great surroundings on the edge of a red squirrel stronghold.’
Nick Mason, project manager of RSNE, welcomed both Steven Pryer, Deputy Chief Executive of Furness Building Society, and Rachel Bell, Group Marketing Manager of Lake District Estates, and highlighted the importance of their contribution to the on-going red squirrel conservation activities.
Nick said: ‘I’m delighted that Furness Building Society and their customers have been so supportive of red squirrel conservation. I am looking forward to building this partnership into something even better over the coming years. The on-going fundraising by both Furness Building Society and Lake District Estates has proved invaluable and is helping us through these tough economic times.’
Steven Pryer commented: ‘As a regional building society with branches and agencies in North West, particularly in Cumbria and Lancashire we are delighted to have been a supporter of the conservation work to save our native red squirrel for almost 10 years. The Red Squirrel Premier Savings Account was launched back in January 2002 and since then through the teamwork between the Society, Cumbria Wildlife Trust and our respective supporters, the Society has donated a total of £100,301.91 towards the work being undertaken to save red squirrels. It really is a 'win win' for everyone, and the more savings that are 'squirreled away' into these affinity accounts the more we will be able to donate each year.’
Rachel Bell noted: ‘Lake District Estates has sustainable and natural tourism at the heart of its foundation. The monies raised from retail sales at our Peter Rabbit and Friends outlets, two tourism attractions Ullswater Steamers and Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway, go towards important conservation projects to protect one of our rarer mammals in England.’
The funds from both businesses will support on-going and future red squirrel conservation activities, community involvement in the fight to conserve this iconic mammal and crucial monitoring and survey work. This includes the work of local groups who both keep an eye on the status of reds in their areas and reach out to their local communities to raise awareness and understanding of the squirrel’s plight. The event highlighted the importance of partnership working and the need to continue to build relationships in order to save the red squirrel in Cumbria. RSNE is supported by (amongst others) the Forestry Commission, Natural England, RSST, and Cumbria Wildlife Trust and other northern Wildlife Trusts. The event was hosted by Langdale Leisure, a corporate member of Cumbria Wildlife Trust who has been raising awareness of red squirrel conservation and is a strong supporter of it.
Olympic Torch Relay Route 2012
Carlisle and Bowness-on-Windermere have been named as 2 of the 74 locations on the 70 day journey of the Olympic Torch. An Olympic Torch Evening will be held in Carlisle on Wednesday 20th June and Bowness on Thursday 21st June. Make sure to book your accommodation well in advance for what promises to be two Lake District and Cumbria Events to remember.
BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend comes to Carlisle on May 14-15th
Radio 1's Free Music Festival comes to Carlisle at Carlisle Airfield. This is a "first" for the region and a ticket-only event with an expected 40,000 visitors. Registration to apply for tickets opens at 6.30 a.m.
on Thursday 31 March and will run until 7 p.m. on Thursday 7 April with over 10,000 pairs given away for each of the 2 days. The tickets are allocated randomly but weighting will be given to those living in Carlisle, Cumbria, Scottish Borders and North East England. Register on the BBC website. Artists include Lady Gaga, Black Eyed Peas, Nicole Sherzinger, Foo Fighters, Olly Murs, The Strokes and many more. For more information of Europes biggest free event log on to www.carlisle.gov.uk or www.discovercarlisle.co.uk
A “ Bownessie” sighting (see our entry of September 2009). Bownessie hunters, hotelier Thomas Noblett and psychic Dean “Midas”Maynard have been alerted to what is believed to be the 9th sighting of Lake Windermere's monster. Two hotel guests believe they saw Bownessie only a few days after a kayaker took a photograph of the creature which was published exclusively in the regions Westmorland Gazette. Accounts together with the photograph have appeared in the newspapers of Norway, India, Australia and Germany where Das Bild suggested that Scotland's “Nessie” has moved to Lake Windermere and even ABC's “Good Morning America”gave the story air time.
Windermere Lake Cruises are offering a “Golden Ticket” of free trips for one year to anyone photographing “Bownessie”.
Closure of Public Toilets by the South Lakeland District Council. Visitors may use toilets at some pubs, attractions and shops in the area. For a list of Businesses providing this facility please visit www.southlakeland.gov.uk
Our Lake District continues its quest to be short listed as a World Heritage Site and has been confirmed as one of the UK’s 38 applicants. Let’s hope for a successful result which would put us on a status with the Great Wall of China, the Egyptian Pyramids of Giza and Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
The Bowness Bay Tourist Information Centre has re-opened after being closed for 8 months of repairs following the flooding of November 2009.
Chicks with Sat Nav
Two Lakeland Osprey chicks have been fitted with satellite transmitters to trace where they go after leaving Bassenthwaite in September.
Wainwright Walks attire comes to London. A marked increase in the sale of Alfred Wainwright style fell walking weather proof jackets has been reported by the London store of Debenhams. They suggest they have been popularised by the recent series of T.V. programmes featuring some of Wainwrights favourite Lake District and Cumbria Walks and are now often seen being worn on the streets of London.
A library and memorabilia relating to Woodrow Wilson the American President is planned by the Wordsworth Hotel Grasmere. The President stayed at the hotel in 1908.
The Hoad Monument. The monument will officially re-open in August. It has been closed to the public since 2003 and undergone major restoration. Built in 1850 as a memorial to Ulverston born Sir John Barrow, naval administrator and traveller. It has an internal 112 step spiral staircase and a lantern chamber at the top.
The Lake District has received a big tourism boost for this year with the publication of the Lonely Planet’s “Best in Travel” 2010. The Guide has named the English Lake District as one of the Top 10 Regions to visit in 2010 and, is the only British holiday destination to be included. The Lake District was chosen ahead of other U.K. regions because, “if anywhere sums up all that is green, great and grand about the English landscape, it’s the Lake District. There’s much more to England’s best loved National Park than just dazzling good looks; think cast iron literary cachet and history in abundance, not to mention gastronomic adventure and enough first class fell-walking to fill a lifetime of visits”. The book lists Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountain as the area’s most “defining experience” followed by some “hearty grub and home brewed beer at the historic Wasdale Head Inn. “Essential Experiences” include tackling Striding Edge on Helvellyn, visiting Dove Cottage and Rydal Mount, cruising on Coniston Water, Osprey spotting at Bassenthwaite Lake, and a stay at the remote Black Sail Youth Hostel at Ennerdale. Included in the final 10 destinations was the French region of Alsace. This is an area we at Wordsworth Country will be featuring in our newly created holiday accommodation website due to be launched in early summer.
The Lake District has been listed in the top five locations for a romantic weekend away in figures released by Virgin Rail. Browse the wide choice of destinations on our comprehensive Accommodation Pages.
Does Lake Windermere have a “Bownessie”? There have been rumours over the past few months of a creature similar to “Nessie” of Loch Ness lurking beneath the waters of England's largest lake. Sonar equipped vessels have been called in to carry out an “in depth” search and psychic-to-the-stars, Dean “Midas” Maynard ,together with Thomas Noblett, Managing Director of the Langdale Chase Hotel and other sighters will join the hunt at 10.30am on Saturday 18th September. Mr Noblett was almost swamped by a large wave which appeared from nowhere whilst training earlier this year for a forthcoming channel swim. He is reported as saying that he expects to see something although it may not be the main event. Keep your eyes open and report any sightings to email@example.com and we will forward them to Mr Noblett.
Fell Walkers can help to save eroded footpaths through a new text initiative. The Tourism and Conservation Partnership has launched a text donation service for Fix the Fells so that people can donate via their mobile phones. Texting FIX to 81400 will send almost £1 to supporting the scheme and the Heritage Lottery Fund will treble any text donation.
One of the first Ospreys to be raised in Cumbria has been seen at Leighton Moss RSPB Nture Reserve. It is a 2 year old bird born at Bassenthwaite and is one of 16 chicks raised in the area to have returned to Britain.
A 30 tonne steel houseboat built as a tribute to the one featured in the book “Swallows and Amazons” by Arthur Ransome is now sailing on Lake Windermere. The boat is now named “M/V Frivolity” and is very similar to the Victorian steamer “Esperance” which sailed the Windermere waters in the 19th C. It sank in the 1940's. The White Cross Bay Holiday Park has provided a permanent mooring.
The Windermere car ferry service is withdrawn for maintenance until May 23rd. During this time, a passenger launch carrying bicycles will be in operation daily between Bowness Pier 3 and the Ferry House landing from 8am and 5.40pm.
Ospreys return to Bassenthwaite Lake.
Visitors are able to see the nesting birds from a viewpoint set up in Dodd Wood which is open from 10am.-5pm. each day. Staff are on hand to provide telescopes. A team of volunteers will guard the nest day and night.
Children and volunteers in Cockermouth are planting around 5000 extra daffodil bulbs at Wordsworth House in preparation for the early opening on February 28th, 2009. Plantings will also be made in The Glade at Aira Force, Ullswater. Expect a wonderful display next Spring.
(September 2008) ‘Wainwright would approve' of Keswick Car Share
Television star Julia Bradbury has given Keswick Car Share the thumbs up – saying that even Wainwright would approve.
Julia, the presenter of the hit BBC series Wainwright Walks, endorsed the unique Lake District car share scheme and thinks it’s a great way for people who love walking in the national park to get around.
“Keswick Car Share is a great way to explore Wainwright’s Walks. It’s important that we all try to minimise our impact on the environment. Sharing cars to and from walks is a simple effective idea. Anyone can sign up and even get dropped off in a valley and connect for a lift home at another. I am sure Wainwright would approve!”
The scheme, the first in a national park, was launched in April and already has a number of members.
It’s not just Wainwright walkers who can benefit from the car sharing scheme, the website can be used to find people all across Cumbria to share a lift to work.
The organisation behind the scheme is Keswick Business Improvement District, its project manager Becx Carter is encouraging people to sign up to www.keswickcarshare.com whether they are a car owner looking for passengers to share the fuel costs or for non-drivers to look for a lift.
Becx Carter said: “It doesn’t matter where you live, all you need is the desire to want to share a car journey. So far we are matching about one in four people who register. The more members we have, the more journeys we can share.”
By registering on the website to share journeys, members can save money, reduce the number of cars on the road and help protect the environment.
It’s free to join and the idea is simple – members travelling in the same direction at the same time can share a lift.
By sharing a daily journey to work an individual can typically save £1,000 and reduce their carbon footprint by as much as ten per cent.
Press release issued by Tara Vallente, telephone 07917 202 999.
The Keswick scheme is linked to the national Liftshare website: www.liftshare.com. Nationally, Liftshare works with more than 1,000 communities and businesses to help encourage and enable more efficient use of transport. By sharing their journeys, Liftshare members save more than 52 million miles and 16,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year. (You’d need to plant 5,335,000 trees to save the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide).
Keswick Business Improvement District’s vision is: “To provide a clean, safe and attractive environment that meets the demands of business, the local community and visitors, ensuring Keswick remains a vibrant recreational and economic destination.”
For further information about Keswick Business Improvement District, contact the co-ordinator, Becx Carter on: 07786 678 283.
(January 08) Beatrix Potter woos visitors to the Lake District.
The increase in the 2007 visitor numbers to Bowness’s World of Beatrix Potter has been attributed to the release of the film, “Miss Potter” starring Renee Zelwegger. Additionally, the popular tour Company, Mountain Goat, and the Lindeth Howe Country House Hotel, once owned by Beatrix Potter, also report a marked burst of interest in the children’s author. The film was released in Japan during the Autumn of last year and it is expected to generate further numbers visiting the area in search of Miss Potter.
(January 08) Honister Slate Mine features in an episode of British televisions long-running “soap”, Coronation Street, on the 4th and 6th of January. Scenes were filmed around the spectacular Fleetwith Pike as two of the cast got into difficulties whilst attempting to rescue their pet dog. This exciting and dramatic story line could go some way toward promoting mountain safety.
(November 07) Filmed in Cumbria
The Bollywood film Industry’s recent production of "Mr. Bhatti on Holiday", due for release in early 2008, has been filmed almost entirely in our region. This film is expected to attract an audience of 30 million who will be eager to see the comedy adventures of a group of Indian tourists who unwillingly become entangled in the events of a missing woman. No doubt many who see the film, will be eager to visit the films locations which include the shores of Lake Windermere, and Carlisle Railway Station thus boosting the number of Asian tourists.