At 3:15pm on Sunday 17th June 1934 a group of passionate people met in Fitz Park Keswick and launched a small association with the aims of preserving beauty and local architectural traditions, safeguarding public access, and creating a national park. This was the birth of Friends of the Lake District.

Eighty five years later, and thousands of supporters stronger, we may no longer be required to campaign for the creation of a national park, but we are needed now more than ever as a strong, clear voice for the landscape.

With few genuinely tranquil places to retreat to in the UK, it is no wonder that over 20 million people annually come to the Lake District – a figure which is growing year on year. At the same time, climate change increasingly threatens our environment and habitats, upland farming faces an uncertain future and pressure for man-made developments continues to grow.

Our 85th Anniversary Appeal will help ensure we can remain proactive and find innovate ways to protect our fragile landscapes, safeguard our cultural heritage and fight inappropriate developments.

Important as it is, we do not only address the relentless threats facing the Lake District. Much of our work is positive.  We repair dry stone walls, maintain footpaths, educate our future landscape guardians, and inspire others to seek and find the tranquillity, peace and awe that lie within those valleys, on those fells, and by the becks, tarns and lakes we all hold in our hearts.

Together we have more power and influence than ever before and our voice is louder and more prominent. A donation to our 85th Anniversary Appeal will help ensure that we can continue to make a difference to what matters most to our landscapes and the people who love them.

It is thanks to our determined founders and early members that the protection of the Lake District was enshrined in law. These landscapes truly belong to the nation and will continue to be treasured. We can’t thank those dedicated men and women enough for all they did for the Lake District back then; what we can do now, in their name and in yours, is continue the vital work they started.

My best wishes to you all,


Douglas Chalmers

Chief Executive