Working on the land in the Lake District

Cairn on Castle Crag overlooking Upper Borrowdale, Cumbria.

We look after over a fifth of the land in the Lake District National Park. Did you know that the Lakes isn't just one landscape? It's made up of many different valleys. One might be quiet and remote, another vibrant and full of day-trippers; another open and windswept, another closely wooded. We think it’s vital to retain and build upon this distinctiveness.

How do we make sure that we care for each valley in the best way?

This is an active and ongoing process, and we'll do it valley by valley, place by place. We’ll take time to tune in, talk to people, observe and think, in order to find out why a place really matters, and what the natural environment is capable of.

We’ll develop our practical objectives in response to the particularities of each place; the pattern and potential of the fells, fields, woods and streams; its historic character, and the ideas and aspirations of the people who live and work there. That's so we're clear about how our decisions are rooted.

" We can build up a picture for each valley to understand all that the land gives us including clean water, food, wildlife, historic views and a strong cultural heritage. We can then look objectively at how to protect and enhance these features and address any imbalances that threaten wildlife, soils and water. "
- Rachel Forsyth, Project Manager

An example of this is our Sustainable Land Management Project.

This started in spring 2017, with conversations with our tenants across the Lakes. The
project is about building up a picture, for each valley, of how things might work in the future - what we might achieve together. It’s based on 3 important sources of information and guidance:

  •  A new set of strategic mapping tools, developed by the James Hutton Institute, and jointly funded by our partners at United Utilities, Environment Agency, Natural England,and the Lake District National Park Authority.
  • Our own local teams and experts.
  • Our tenants who live in the valleys and carry out most of the land management.

Working like this, valley by valley, community by community, will mean that our work is rooted in the landscape, and will make sense to the people who live and work here. We hope it will help to create a sense of common direction and security in uncertain times.