Landscape charity Friends of the Lake District is calling on people standing for election to the new Cumberland and Westmorland and Furness “Shadow Authorities” on 5th May to champion the landscape and environment because of their importance for the wellbeing of the people of Cumbria. 

Landscape provides food, water, clean air and many other necessities. A beautiful and diverse landscape with a wealth of wildlife and human history sustains, inspires and enriches our lives, our communities and the economy. 

In order to help elected members get an understanding of the importance of the environment to people in Cumbria, the charity has put together a “Manifesto for the Landscape” which sets out ten areas where the new Unitary Authority councillors can make a difference to the environment, including Planning, Transport, Energy generation, Climate Change and Dark Skies. Its manifesto can be found here: 

Douglas Chalmers, Chief Executive of Friends of the Lake District said: 

“As Cumbrian residents we all know the importance of the landscape around us and the environment as a whole. It’s not just about where we live, but how it makes us feel, the employment, products and services it provides us with and the fact that it draws so many visitors supporting jobs for other local people. 

“So if we are speaking to any of the candidates, we should talk to them about any local environmental concerns we have and encourage them to read the Manifesto.   

“Friends of the Lake District is stressing the landscape and environment of Cumbria as a priority for both the new Unitary authorities, so the more people who talk about environmental issues and how they have affected their lives and livelihoods, the higher the profile will be with the newly elected members.” 

The future of Cumbria’s countryside and rural communities are threatened by a post-Brexit, post-Covid, high-inflation future where climate change-induced floods and storms cause disruption and damage more frequently. 

The charity believes that a healthy, resilient landscape will help sustain us against these challenges and that the new Unitary Authorities have a vital role to play in securing this.