Managing limited water resources is one of the key issues facing modern society in the 21st century. Within Cumbria, we work to ensure that the water resource, which is so fundamental to this iconic landscape, is managed responsibly and effectively.

This is a complex issue so we work in a number of different ways:

  • reducing demand on our water supplies through educational campaigns to encourage people to reduce water use and by decreasing leakage
  • campaigning on issues relating to new water supply infrastructure proposals, where such plans will have a detrimental impact on the landscape and natural environment 
  • Encouraging appropriate sustainable energy production using Cumbria’s water supply, such as local hydroelectric schemes
  • Restoring important wetland habitats
  • Tackling the declining water quality in our lakes and tarns due to climate change related issues, for example, rising temperatures leading to an increase of algae’s in our lakes and a decrease in rare native fish-life such as the arctic char

Through our policy work and campaigns in this area, Friends of the Lake District has achieved:

  • Protection against industrial processes using water from the lakes of Wastwater, Ennerdale , Crummock and Ullswater, which would have resulted in significant landscape change through increasing the water levels of these lakes, and the installation of substantial infrastructure. 
  • Working to ensure water catchments are managed in a way that is sensitive to the landscape, e.g. transitioning redundant reservoirs back to their natural state.

The National Trust has worked closely with Friends of the Lake District on the siting of our hydropower projects. The early involvement of Friends of the Lake District has helped us to plan developments which are appropriate and sympathetic in the landscape

Garry Sharples, Environmental Practices Adviser, National Trust