Wasdale Visitor Management Project

The valley includes a number of Sites of Special Scientific Interest and the lake itself is a Special Area of Conservation

Wasdale is a very special place. This beautiful valley in the western Lake District has been voted Britain’s Favourite View and is a popular destination for over 250,000 visitors a year.

Its popularity does also cause problems for the valley, with pressure on facilities, paths and added impact from participants in the Three Peaks Challenge, who often use the valley during the night.


Why do we need the project?

We want to encourage people to visit this valley and experience its sense of isolation and strong cultural traditions, in addition to its wild beauty and unique setting. We also need to support the small local community and local farmers. The valley includes a number of Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and the lake itself is a Special Area of Conservation, so managing and protecting the natural environment is also a priority. With ad hoc parking and no permanent toilet facilities for visitors, the current situation is not a long term solution for ensuring we look after this place, the people who live here, and those who love and visit it. We intend to provide visitor facilities and a visitor welcome that meets the needs of visitors, the community and landowners, and the environment.

Our plan

The Visitor Management Project involves the National Trust, the Lake District National Park Authority and the local community working together, with a current focus on providing permanent toilet facilities for visitors to the valley.

Formalising and improving car parking at the head of the valley is also a current challenge, this is likely to be a long and complex process, so please bear with us.

We need to ensure that Wasdale is a special place to live, work and visit long into the future, and establishing appropriate visitor facilities and information is crucial to this – look out for our rangers working around the valley to improve our paths and signage, and feel free to ask questions!  

Next steps

Over the past two years we have worked hard in Wasdale, addressing traffic management issues, litter, Three Peaks Challenge impacts and visitor engagement. Building on the improvements at Lake Head car park, over the next twelve months we will be progressing plans to replace our temporary toilets with permanent facilities.