Our climate is changing.

A591 between Kendal and Keswick following Storm Desmond

Weather records for temperature and rainfall are being broken repeatedly, whether it’s extreme heat, cold or rain.

Storm Desmond, four years ago, hit the headlines as being particularly devastating to Cumbria. We still refer to the damage caused when over a month’s rainfall was dumped on us in 24 hours in December 2015. We can still see the effects around us, including empty homes and scarred fellsides. But this was just one flooding event of many which has hit the Lake District.

These extreme weather events have a huge impact on lives, landscapes, experiences and the local economy. Sadly, they can no longer be described as ‘one off’ or ‘unprecedented’.

Climate change is harming our beloved landscapes in many ways:

  • The fragile soils which are vital for upland farming and wildlife are washed away by heavy rain
  • The quality of water in our lakes and tarns is degraded as soil and pollutants are washed into them
  • Walls, paths, barns, bridges and byways are damaged or destroyed by flood events
  • The rare wildlife of our lakes and rivers, such as the Arctic charr and pearl mussels are suffering from low water levels and higher water temperatures
  • Rare alpine plants that need the cold temperatures of the high fells are struggling to survive the warm weather
  • Peatlands suffer as summers become warmer and drier
  • Large scale devastating wildfires are an increasing risk

The good news is that we CAN take action to protect our landscapes from climate change.

We need your help to do so. Please will you make a donation to our Climate Change Appeal?

Your support will enable us to identify how best to protect the habitats, land uses and views that will be most affected by climate change and then take the action needed.

Young people are visibly increasingly worried about climate change and how it will impact their lives. They are calling for action. It is their generation – our children and grandchildren - that will love and defend the Lake District in the future. We have a duty to ensure it is as beautiful and inspiring for them in the years to come, as it is now.

Renowned environmental scientist Sir Martin Holdgate CB, Emeritus President of Friends of the Lake District, says “The important thing is not to shrug and say ‘I can do nothing’ or ‘it’s all someone else’s fault’, but for everyone and every organisation to contribute what we can.”

 

Please contribute what you can towards our appeal.

 

By identifying those landscapes we love which are most vulnerable to the impact of climate change, we will be able to work with other organisations and land managers to help those areas to withstand this threat.

Thank you for caring about the beauty of Cumbria and the Lake District

You can read the full transcript of Sir Martin Holdgate's climate change lecture here.

Banner image copyright Terry Abrahams