[T]he award-winning Lake District self-catering agency Heart of the Lakes, with offices based in Ambleside and Keswick has presented its first donation of £18,732 to the new charity – The Lake District Foundation formerly known as Nurture Lakeland. The money was collected between 1st April 2017 to 31st March 2018 through their established and innovative ‘Our Man at the Top’ scheme.
Sue Jackson, Partner of Hearts of the Lakes says; “As part of our ongoing commitment to conservation and the environment, and as a local family business operating across the entire Lake District National Park, we have valued and supported the crucial work of Nurture Lakeland from day one. We now look forward to continuing to work alongside the new Lake District Foundation and are extremely excited to hear about the new initiatives that both the business community and our loyal visitors can get involved with. By working together, we can ensure this very special landscape that we work, live in and enjoy all year round is looked after for future generations and visitors alike.”
The original visitor fundraising project began in 1995 and involved an ‘opt-out’ scheme – the very first of its kind in the UK – to encourage visitors booking through Heart of the Lakes to contribute £1 per week booked towards ‘Our Man at the Top’. Today the initiative funds a full-time member of staff at The National Trust who works with the ‘Fix the Fells’ project team that helps to restore and improve the footpaths across the Lake District.
Sarah Swindley, Director of Lake District Foundation says; “Heart of the Lakes have played a fundamental role in developing key visitor pay back schemes over a considerable amount of time and have been influential from the very beginning of some of the most successful environmental projects in the county. The work they have contributed to is a fine example of what The Lake District Foundation aims to achieve, and we look forward to working with them to many more years to come.”
In 2005, due to the success of the scheme the contribution was increased to £2 per week booked. Through the generosity of Heart of the Lakes customers £381,717 has been raised and after match funding from Heritage Lottery this figure is over £500,000 for ‘Fix the Fells’.