Low Carbon Tourism

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The Lake District has set itself a carbon budget, to reduce emissions from travel, food and buildings, for example, and the aim is to do this in ways which make the Lakes an even nicer place to be, with more local food and drink, better transport options and a bit of peace and quiet when you need it.

As experts in sustainable tourism, Nurture Lakeland is playing its role in this carbon budget and taking part in an exciting new campaign that seeks to improve the “low carbon tourism” offer in Cumbria.

Low Carbon Tourism, which is part of a wider suite of climate change related projects across the country, has been funded by the Climate Change Local Area Support Programme and the North West Improvement and Efficiency Partnership.

The project which is being delivered by Nurture Lakeland in partnership with the Lake District National Park, is working in the area that spans throughout Ambleside, Grasmere and Langdale. We’re also working closely with other green organisations in the area too.

Making low carbon tourism a reality

We will be working with local tourism businesses identifying what current barriers or challenges are preventing businesses to achieve the best in responsible tourism. Businesses concerns will be fed into an action plan to take forward these topics to the right people. This could be Nurture Lakeland at a low level, or agencies and authorities at higher levels.

The project will allow us to establish what areas need improving to enable local tourism businesses to reduce their impact and enhance their business. We will take these and run with them! Ensuring action takes place, issues are resolved and low carbon tourism in our area is a reality.

Seminar March 2011

low carbon tourism seminar invitationOn Wednesday 9th March 2011 Nurture Lakeland coordinated a unique and exciting collaborative seminar for Cumbrian tourism businesses and local agencies.

Bringing these groups and individuals together sparked many interesting conversations about how we can make low carbon tourism in the Lake District a reality.

The event that was held at Langdale Estate, near Ambleside resulted in some fascinating brain storming.

Ideas were generated about how we can reduce the carbon footprint of tourism and enhance the visitor experience for our guests.

Panel presentation

  1. Sue Savege (Nurture Lakeland) – sustainable tourism introduction, what's currently happening?
  2. Bob Cartwright (LDNP) – the National Park's commitment and responsibility to low carbon tourism
  3. Mike Berners-Lee (consultant) – the sources of carbon in the Lake District, looking at tourism (more information on Mike's report)
  4. Jane Lusardi (Natural England) – the value of our land, inspirational attractions and valued carbon stores

What did the delegates discuss?

people canoe waterTravel

• Bus affordability and better experience
• Smarter driving – need to get the message out to residents and visitors of potential savings that can be made
• Expensive car parking forces people to move more
• Perceptions need to be improved of available public transport
• Travel operators need to be joined up
• IT for transport options needs modernising
• Need more cycle ways between villages
• Planning needs to be changed to improve infrastructure
• How do we better share public transport information e.g. existing activity
• Toolkit for car free itineraries (in closer detail...)

- Fresh Air is Free website needs to be improved to better link existing good car free options
- FAIF toolkit needs expanding before promoting to businesses to use
- Car free itineraries for visitors
- Existing opportunities need better marketing, Cumbria Tourism should be lobbied to promote better
- Could SLDC Business Development Manager promote sustainability to tourism businesses and which green organisations exist to support?
- Energy Saving Trust could incorporate engaging with tourism businesses to get messages/opportunities to visitors


• Shift from fossil fuels needs to happen
• Need to celebrate success of energy saving to encourage others
• More partnership working needs to happen
• Guests should be informed about energy saving during stay but guest comfort should not be compromised – achievable (e.g. Langdale)
• Staff need educating and incentives should be introduced
• Retrofitting energy saving to buildings (in closer detail...)

- Holiday accommodation letting agents need encouraging to get involved in energy audits of their properties
- Promote capital incentives of energy saving e.g. Carbon Trust
- Enworks should cluster audit visits (also promote collective purchase, collective action – learn from each other)
- Organisations should target areas to gain easier changes with the businesses
- CBEN's free energy saving advisory service needs better promoting – FREE!
- Building controls and planning regulations, e.g. listed buildings, need changing to better support those wanting to improve

land useLand Use

• Mass tree plant areas/woodland creation
• Community (and business) momentum for change
• Ageing farming population, more traditional/conservative – resistant to change?
• Managing for biodiversity (eco system services) as well as agriculture
• Is environmental/agricultural balance right? Is too much weight given to agriculture in marginal areas? More weight to be given to carbon capture
• More allotments should be incorporated to promote local food production
• Underlands – land ownership, planning and tenancy
• Use of lakes as heat source
• Use of National Park land for ground source
• Increasing awareness of tourism businesses about grant schemes that are available
• Public gain needs private support e.g. land for cycle ways, footpath links, all have a cost and a value
• 886 square miles of land – big opportunity


• No training provided for chefs (e.g. Kendal college) on seasonal food
• Appreciate relationship between food and energy to produce it – need for local production as energy becomes scarce
• Cost of local produce (too high)
• Level/volume/cost of food waste
• 'Adopt a farmer' scheme, businesses should club together to set up community buying direct from producer
• Good distribution and image of local ale, but not food
• Interest in local food from visitors but difficult to source – the scale of production can't meet demand
• Customer perceptions RE local food and drink (in closer detail...)

- Are visitors aware if what is available?
- Are we publicising enough options available?
- We need to encourage (especially self-catering) to shop locally
- Do visitors even want local produce? Market is price driven
- Promote local produce in business e.g. seasonal hampers
- Explore bulk buying
- Publications and press coverage to engage customers
- Working with agencies, e.g. Cumbria Tourism
- Integrating food into tourist experiences

plastic-recycling-bundlesWaste/Resource Use

• Resource management is probably the most important aspect of sustainability
• Time and space restrictions
• Resources need to go full cycle not dumped in landfill
• Free recycling for businesses needed (in closer detail...)

- Currently no business recycling collection
- Meeting required with local councillors to push as priority (with lobby team of businesses)
- Nurture Lakeland and/or SLDC joint purchasing of recycling service?
- Issues with national government which prevents local authorities from collecting from businesses, something needs to change
- Joint lobbying to government through local MP
- Campaign to reduce packaging

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Nurture Lakeland is a part of Nurture Cumbria, a charity registered in England and Wales with the charity number 1130453 and company number 3317259