This year’s Keswick Mountain Festival will support Nurture Lakeland through a range of initiatives during the five day event that runs from 18 – 22 May. Nurture Lakeland, a Cumbria-based charity founded in 1993, works to help make the Cumbrian tourism industry sustainable by creating ways for businesses and individuals to donate to the conservation, heritage and communities of the region; Bluestone, the event organiser, has become the latest member of Nurture Lakeland. The charity makes sure that the money raised goes to the places and people that need it the most, so that the Lake District and Cumbria remain fantastic and beautiful places to visit. To date, the charity’s fundraising and that of its business members has raised over £1.7 million in donations, helping to support over 40 conservation projects across the county. Having won Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Award ‘Best Destination’ for 2010, Nurture Lakeland has now been chosen as a finalist for the prestigious Tourism for Tomorrow Destination Stewardship Award 2011.
A key Nurture Lakeland project is ‘Fix the Fells’. With more than eight million visitors to the Lake District every year, the fells and many high mountain paths and lakeshore walks feel the strain and suffer from erosion. Fix the Fells path repair teams, with the help of fundraising, the support of partners and the Heritage Lottery Fund, have repaired over 150 upland paths. This is vital work which is helping to improve public access, reduce the amount of silt in rivers and protect peat soils and vegetation from erosion.
Keswick Mountain Festival will raise funds for Nurture Lakeland and drive awareness of the charity in several ways. Visitors can make a donation when buying tickets for various events and there will be active fundraising at key locations and times throughout the festival. Nurture Lakeland will also have a strong presence during the event, especially in the Adventure Base which will be the main gathering place for the public during the festival.
Kate Thomas, director of Keswick Mountain Festival, said, “Over the last five years, Keswick Mountain Festival has brought thousands of extra visitors to the Lake District and while this is very important for the local economy, we are very aware of the extra pressure an influx of people can put on the natural environment. We are very committed to the principles of sustainable tourism, so linking up with Nurture Lakeland makes very good sense. We use the fells for almost all of the activities during the festival, so projects like Fix the Fells have a great resonance with us as both organisers of the event and residents of the Lake District.”
For more information about the Festival visit www.keswickmountainfestival.co.uk. To find out more about Nurture Lakeland, visit www.nurturelakeland.org.