How will climate change affect the Lake District?
The Lake District of 2050 could feel very different from today. As climate change takes hold, weather patterns will alter and extreme events will become more common. The coastline will change, as will conditions for all wildlife.
But there are real benefits if we act quickly. Resilient communities that cut their energy costs and generate renewable energy will prosper. So will tourism businesses that tap into the growing market for low-impact holidays. Transport options like bikes, boats, buses and, of course, boots are all low in carbon but high in fun.
We can lock greenhouse gases into the landscape through good land management. Above all, we can encourage the 15.8 million people a year who visit the Lake District to join us in taking action.
To make the most of these opportunities, we launched the Low-Carbon Lake District Project in 2008. In July 2010, we held the Low-Carbon Lake District Summit to take stock of progress and plan for the future.
What is the Lake District National Park Authority doing to reduce its carbon emissions?
We are on track to reduce our own emissions by 25 per cent within the next two years. Our carbon management plan covers energy use, transport and behaviour change. We work with staff, members and volunteers to get ideas and take action. We have signed up to the 10:10 campaign (opens in new window), pledging to reduce emissions by ten per cent in 2010, and won an Energy Saving Trust Fleet Hero award for our efforts to reduce carbon emissions from transport. - find out more on Our own carbon reduction web page.
How is the Lake District National Park Authority helping others to tackle climate change?
Other partnership work includes:
- Developing and managing a carbon budget for the National Park as a whole, working with the Lake District National Park Partnership.
- We participate in the Eden Winter Warmth initiative, and are supporting their Community Energy conference
- We are working with Cumbria Tourism, Nurture Lakeland (opens in new window) and others to support low-carbon tourism
- We play a key role in supporting the Cumbria Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (opens in new window)
- We help to develop regional policy through the NorthWest Climate Change Strategy (opens in new window)
- A study tour to the South West of England in December 2008, to look at how this region promotes sustainable energy and encourages low-carbon communities - read more in Low carbon Lake District South West Study Tour report (Word document)
How we help communities
There are a range of ways in which we help communities on climate change:
- Our Sustainable Development Fund supports community renewable energy projects such as small scale hydro developments and energy efficiency improvements to community buildings - read more in our Sustainable Development Fund section.
- We have assessed the potential for Lake District hydro power and actively encourage communities to develop schemes - there are more details on our Hydropower page.
- Through our Local Development Framework, we are drawing up new planning policies so development in the National Park meets the highest energy efficiency standards and, where possible, integrates low-carbon energy generation.
- With the Field Studies Council, we have developed training resources so students can learn about climate change.
What about transport impacts?
Working with Cumbria County Council and the Lake District National Park Partnership, we are building a Transport Framework for a sustainable Lake District. We want to transform our transport system so that people can choose to travel in low-carbon ways.
How does land management affect climate change?
Land management in the Lake District will need to adapt to climate change impacts, like changes to the water cycle. And we need to protect peat and woodlands, which are important carbon stores. The Bassenthwaite Ecosystem Services pilot project is pioneering an approach to this.
- Climate science explained - short guide
- Climate, weather and climate change - more details are available from our Learning section
- A Sustainable Energy Agency for Cumbria - The Business Case (Word document)
- Love your Lakes campaign (opens in new window) - how to enjoy this area sustainably
- You, Me and the Climate Un-conference video (opens in new window)
- Our managing climate change action plan (Word document)
- Cumbria climate change strategy (PDF) and LDNPA response to Cumbria climate change strategy (Word document)
- Renewable energy - our web page about domestic eco-friendly energy generators
- Fix the Fells - climate and erosion (opens in new window) - the effects of climate change on upland footpaths
- Warmth from wood booklet (opens in new window) -a co-funded booklet giving details of real-life biomass fuel systems
- Climate Change Resource Pack (opens in new window) - activities, resources sheets and images for Key Stage 2 and 3 pupils
- 1010uk.org (opens in new window) - we've signed up to cut our carbon emissions by 10 per cent by 2010. How about you?
- Nurture Lakeland's Green Business Directory
- My 2050 world interactive game (opens in new window, Flash 9 or above needed)