Our response: recreational boats, Grasmere

Aerial view of Grasmere Island in Cumbria

The National Trust has been looking after special places in the Lake District on behalf of the nation for the past 125 years. We look after over 20% of the Lake District National Park, including Grasmere Island and parts of the lakeshore.

Update at 24 January 2020: we are aware that this application has now been withdrawn. Below, you can find our response to the application before it was withdrawn.


We are aware that there is an application to request a certificate of lawful use (CLU), for the proposed use of land for the mooring of up to 10 boats on Grasmere.


These boats are described as Gentleman's Yachts, measuring up to 12.2 metres long and 3.66 metres beam, with one engine and a 5 horsepower electric motor. They are to be used for recreational use and overnight holiday accommodation.


The National Trust opposes this application. We do not believe that this development should be permitted under the CLU.


In addition to this being a change in the use of Grasmere, we also believe that it would cause harm to the Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage Site.


We believe that Grasmere should be protected as open access space for everyone, for ever. It is currently used for recreation; from families enjoying a picnic and a play at the waters edge, to swimmers, local business' recreational rowing boats and fishing boats. It is a place where generations of local residents and visitors have enjoyed free and open access to the water.


We believe that the size and nature of these boats and the use proposed is materially different from the current situation. Permanent moorings and overnight stays would change the character of lake use, and impact on the overall character of the lake.


You can view the application on the Lake District National Parks website using the planning reference 7/2019/5808.