Sustainable tourism in Cumbria: The UK’s first carbon neutral county?

Photo of clouds over one of the lakes of the Lake District

As the climate crisis escalates, it is becoming more and more evident that human activity is behind the record temperature rise and that we must take action sooner rather than later. Cumbria, the home of the Lake District, has set out a new carbon neutral plan, with the aim of becoming the UK’s first carbon neutral county by 2037.

The impacts of climate change are already visible in Cumbria, with the increased flooding and longer spells of heat and dryness identifiable as a risk to the health of the community. As a result, all the county’s districts have committed to the goal to become carbon neutral, an ambition with sustainable tourism at its heart.

The journey towards sustainable tourism will be achieved through multiple initiatives:

  1. Go Lakes Travel: This is a programme funded by the Department of Transport through a £6.9m initiative. Its aim is to change how visitors travel to and around the Lake District, with a focus on more sustainable travel methods.
  2. Fix the Fells: The county’s mountainous environment is at threat of footpath erosion, as walking is a popular activity for those visiting and damage to the mountains also has the potential to prove detrimental to the tourism industry
  3. Lake District Foundation: A charity established in August 2017, previously known as Nurture Lakeland, which works to raise funds through the visitors and tourists in the Lake District.
  4. Love Your Lakes: This programme urges visitors, locals and businesses to join efforts to reduce the number of phosphates entering Windermere, which will improve the quality of the water and reduce toxic algae.
  5. Low Carbon Cottages: A scheme which, working alongside owners of holiday cottages and letting companies, aims to reduce carbon emissions and the costs of running traditional cottages.

This is an excerpt from an article by Melina Williams, originally published by Impact Magazine

 

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