Thursday, 29 September 2011

A stunning autumn in the Lake District

Like most of the country we seem to be having the best autumn weather possible. Here in the Lakes, the trees are starting to turn golden, with shades from bronze to ochre and some say this is the best time to visit the Lake District. It’s hard to disagree when we have weather like this.
It's also a time of tranquility as less people wander into the high mountains and nature gets a chance to rest and recover over the coming winter months.
For me in the garden though, its 'apples'. Hundreds and hundreds of them. What a joy it is to be able to pick an apple straight from the tree and eat it at its freshest. Is this one of nature's finest examples of 'slow food' and 'local produce'? But ideas on a postcard please as to what to do with the other 20 kilos or so of them !!

Thursday, 9 June 2011

It was great to see Nurture Lakeland and our Visitor Payback Scheme get a mention this week in the Government's White Paper on the Natural Environment, 'The Natural Choice: securing the value of nature'.
It reminds me of how willing people are to put something back into looking after the landscapes we all enjoy so much.
I am very fortunate to live in the Lake District amidst some of the most spectacular scenery in England and every time I head out on one my favourite local walks above Ullswater Lake, i am reminded of just how much the mountains give back to me. The peace and quiet, excercise and fresh air and a chance to recharge my batteries. And not only this, but also, clean water, timber, tasty food, and a good wage to mention but a few of the daily benefits.
A recent survey about why people visit the Lake District National Park indicated that around 97% of people come here for the scenery and the hill walking. No suprises there i guess, but how many i wonder ever reflect on the true cost of such incredible beauty and the behind the scenes efforts to keep it this way.
Our Visitor Payback Scheme helps people to put a little bit back by adding an extra pound or two to their accommodation bill if staying in the area or sticking an extra 10 or 20p onto a ticket for a Visitor Attraction.
In the last 15 years this simple scheme has put almost £2million back into conservation in the Lake District and Cumbria helping to keep the area healthy and beautiful.
Not only does Visitor Payback raise much needed cash for conservation, but it helps our visitors to understand that the landscapes need that little bit of tlc if they are going to stay this way forever.

If you want to find out which businesses in the Lake District and Cumbria are participating in Visitor Payback have a look at our Green Business Directory or to find out more about setting up a Visitor Payback Schem in your area go to 'What do we do' or get in touch

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Greener business miles means cash savings too..

The government wants us to all be greener in our driving habits but what does that mean for us in a rural location like Cumbria.
Its hard to run a business and not end up doing a fair amount of driving when you live in a place like Cumbria. Lets face it, those mountains we all love and enjoy, do tend to get in the way when you are trying to get about, and going round them does put plenty of extra miles on the clock.
At Nurture Lakeland we work with businesses right across the County , from the Solway Border in the north to Ulverston in the south, and from St Bees in the west to the Eden Valley in the East. And despite the fact that we would all love to be zero carbon here at NL, we have to recognise that we haven’t quite got the travel infrastructure yet for this in Cumbria.
It’s likely that in a few years’ time we will have that infrastructure with a wider choice of hybrid and plug in cars suitable for a rural location, a network of charging points and a range of sustainable travel options.
To help this infrastructure to move forward the government has just announced its Plug-in Car Grant.  Both private and business buyers purchasing a qualifying ultra-low emission car will receive a grant of 25% towards the cost of the vehicle, up to a maximum of £5,000.
So how do we manage to keep our business miles down at Nurture Lakeland?
Last year we took a long hard look at our business driving habits to see what we could bring down the number of miles travelled and reduce our emissions and bring down our costs at the same time.
In the end we managed to save 150 miles of driving per staff member per month. Over the whole year this added up to 7,200 miles less business miles and a total saving of almost £3,000 and 5 tonnes of carbon.
What are we doing to make this saving?
·         We have learned to say ‘no’.
o   When we looked at it we realised that many of the meetings we had been going to could just as effectively be carried out by phone or email.

·         We cluster the meetings we do have to attend to make our travel more efficient

·         We try to arrange our meetings at the end and beginning of the day,
o   In this way the travel can be tagged on to travel into work or home,

·         We changed our policy on how staff could claim their expenses to encourage car sharing

·         We changed staff attitudes to business travel through training and continuous monitoring

For help on business travel planning you can find more information and support at:

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

A busy week for all at NL

We've got the judges in from Tourism for Tomorrow Award on Thursday so we're busy creating a schedule to show them what we're up to and why we should win this year's award!

We've been promoting a vote for Fix the Fells which could see the project winning up to 30,000 euros towards remedial work on Striding Edge and Scafell Pike. Anybody wanting to support their bid can visit the www.livefortheoutdoors.com/conservation page and register a vote for 'upland paths'. You've got until the 23rd to vote so don't delay, vote today!

We ran a really sucessful Low Carbon Tourism seminar last week. The feedback from all who attended was really positive. If you want to read what was discussed and what plans were made you can find full details on our website at http://www.nurturelakeland.org/be-car-free/seminar-march-2011.html

It's a busy time of the year for all of us so we will do our best to keep you updated on all the news at Nurture Lakeland. We're new to this blogging lark so bear with us. We're sure it will get much more interesting as the weeks go by!

Monday, 28 February 2011

This week, four conservation projects drawn from the Lake District, Snowdonia and Yorkshire Dales have been short listed for a cash award of up to 30,000 euros which would provide crucial funding and organisers are asking the public to decide on who gets the money.

Fix the Fells is a local project already working hard to protect our upland paths by funding teams of skilled craftsmen who - together with the help of volunteers - carry out essential work repairing and preventing path erosion.
The additional award would enable vital work to be carried out on Scafell Pike and Striding Edge to combat the effects of erosion.

This is a great opportunity to raise some vital cash for the project. Visit the Live for the Outdoors website to reaad more about this and VOTE for us!!!