With the general election less than four weeks away, the charity Friends of the Lake District has organised a hustings event for the constituency of Westmorland and Lonsdale, based around the theme of landscape and the environment. 

Candidates from all the parties standing in this constituency have been invited along to the event, which takes place on Monday 24 June 8pm, at the Ambleside Parish Centre, Vicarage Rd, Ambleside, LA22 9DH.

Ambleside is at the heart of issues arising from sewage discharge into Windermere, which has impacts on local people, visitors, businesses and the wildlife of the lake. With this in mind, Matt Staniek, Director of Save Windermere, will ask the first question of the night at the event.

So far candidates from the Liberal Democrats (Tim Farron), Green Party (Phil Clayton) and Labour Party (Pippa Smith) have confirmed attendance at the event. The hustings will be chaired by the BBC's Caz Graham, best known for presenting on BBC Radio 4's Farming Today programme.

Chief Executive of Friends of the Lake District, Michael Hill, said: “This is a great opportunity to quiz candidates hoping to represent this area in the next parliament about some vital issues. We’re hoping for some incisive questions and lively debate around matters such as water quality, farming, traffic and tourism. We hope this event will shine a spotlight on the importance of a healthy landscape, which can deliver multiple benefits for people, nature and climate.”

Friends of the Lake District recently published their own Manifesto for Cumbria’s Landscapes which calls on the new government to commit to delivering on six demands covering areas such as water, local housing, nature friendly farming and the impact of tourism on the area.

Residents of Westmorland and Lonsdale constituency are invited along to the hustings event to hear what the candidates have to say and to pose questions on the topics around the theme of landscape and the environment. Questions must be submitted in advance to Friends of the Lake District, and the final questions posed to the candidates will be selected before the event.

Tickets can be booked online here, or by calling Friends of the Lake District on 01539 720788.

The full Friends of the Lake District manifesto can be found here: www.friendsofthelakedistrict.org.uk/manifesto2024.