Page 1 get behind the scenes to help protect your landscape

join us The Lake District and Cumbria have some of the most stunning landscapes in the world. However our environment can be surprisingly fragile. Every now and again our beautiful landscape needs a little help from its friends. If you love your lakes, you could help look after the places you cherish by joining Nurture Lakeland from as little as ÂŁ2.50 per month. Nurture Lakeland works to protect wildlife, landscape and environment, improve access and support local communities. For information on how to join, our projects and sustainable tourism visit us at

The Love Your Lakes campaign is a Bassenthwaite Reflections project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and delivered by Nurture Lakeland (registered charity 1130453). For further information, contact Nurture Lakeland on 01539 822 622 or by emailing

Photo: Derwentwater from Friar’s Crag with Catbells

Love Your Lakes

Improving the water quality of Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite Lake through responsible tourism and working with the community

our campaign our lakes Each year, drawn by its iconic lakes and mountain landscapes, the Lake District attracts millions of visitors. These lakes not only keep visitors entertained, but enhance local quality of life through various leisure opportunities. Whether it is outdoor pursuits or lazy lakeside walks, everyone loves the lakes and right now they need our help… In 2002 a review into the quality of our largest lakes revealed Bassenthwaite Lake required urgent attention. This acted as the catalyst for the formation of the Bassenthwaite Lake Restoration Programme (BLRP) and the Love Your Lakes campaign was born.

the issue Too much phosphate is ending up in our lakes. It is upsetting the natural balance of our lakes and causing toxic blue-green algae to grow in large quantities, or ‘blooms’. Blue-green algae is not only unsightly but it also harms wildlife living in and around the lake. It’s bad news for people and pets too. Phosphates are coming from a range of sources, including fertilisers and sewage. They’re also coming from laundry and dishwashing detergents (25%, on average). The spectacular scenery around Derwentwater and Keswick draws some 2.5 million visitors to the area each year. The tourism economy supports 60% of employment in the area. Yet if algal blooms are left unchecked we could face closure of the lakes, damage to fish and wildlife and threats to local jobs and livelihoods.

Love Your Lakes was developed to tackle the issue of phosphate enrichment from detergents. ‘Source’ and ‘end-pipe’ control approach was taken. This means encouraging people to make the connection between what goes down the plug hole at ‘source’ and what impact this may have on the lake. Maintaining personal septic tanks would improve phosphate recovery, reducing the amount going into the lake from ‘end-pipe’.

working in partnership The Love Your Lakes campaign is a Bassenthwaite Reflections project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and delivered by us at Nurture Lakeland. We are a registered sustainable tourism and conservation charity. We worked with many partner organisations to help spread the message. Tourism organisations such as Keswick Tourism Association, Cumbria Tourism and Northern Lakes Hospitality Providers helped distribute messages within the tourism sector. Business organisations such as Cumbria Business Environment Network and Keswick Business Improvement District also allowed us to reach more businesses. We are grateful for the support of the Forestry Commission, local parish councils and SusKes community action group, who helped us engage more members of the local community. And many others...

our aims everyone loves the lakes and right now they need our help... who and how For 15 months Love Your Lakes employed one full time member of staff, Ruth Kirk, and one part time member of staff, Amy McLoughlin. Ruth and Amy were the campaign’s Sustainable Tourism Advisers. The campaign ran between November 2009 and December 2010. Love Your Lakes identified three key audiences to approach, engage and influence. • • •

Tourism businesses – predominantly accommodation providers, but also cafes and restaurants too Residents – people who live within the catchment Visitors – during high season there is a large visiting population which needs to be reached prior and during their stay

To successfully encourage these audiences to reduce their phosphate use, we were also committed to influencing: •

The supply chain – encouraging local suppliers to enhance the availability of phosphate free products; engaging manufacturers to make their products more readily available Media – a ‘layering’ effect of the message through constant media attention, ranging from local press to radio, from specialist publications to national print

responsible tourism business support our vital statistics • • •

• • •

400 local tourism businesses received information about phosphates in the post 226 accommodation businesses received one-to-one advisory visits 61 accommodation businesses received follow up visits to ensure the messages were understood 12 business events were attended and presented to 2 environmental workshops were held Working with Cumbria Tourism, Keswick Tourism Association and Northern Lakes Accommodation Providers – up to 700 more businesses have been reached!

phosphate free and proud The ‘Love Your Lakes Approved’ scheme rewarded businesses who were dedicated to being phosphate free with a logo. This logo tells their customers they are committed to the local environment and are doing something about it. Businesses can use this logo on their websites and marketing materials alongside their green credentials.

improving the supply chain To ensure local hoteliers could get their hands on quality phosphate free products, Love Your Lakes lobbied local suppliers to make more products available or promote existing availability. Six businesses became Love Your Lakes Approved suppliers of commercial phosphate free products.

tourism toolkits To help integrate responsible tourism in relation to water quality, businesses were given informative educational packs. These resources are available free of charge and can be downloaded from • • • • • • •

Tourism business leaflet – highlighting tourism impacts and solutions Laundry cards for guest rooms – encouraging guests to have their towels and linen changed less frequently Water saving fact sheet – general information about how to save water (thus energy and money) Phosphate free list with local suppliers Responsible fertilisers fact sheet – how to store and use lawn fertilisers responsibly Septic tank and package sewage treatment works fact sheets – how to manage and maintain your personal sewage plant Video - highlighting tourism impacts and solutions

community our vital statistics • • • • • • •

5000 homes in the catchment received information through the post 26 community events attended and/or presented to 6 local action groups were involved 19 press releases went out in local press 14 feature articles (local and national) 7 local radio features were broadcasted 41 online articles and web links

community materials Educational materials are freely available from public places around the catchment, at events and in self-catering accommodation properties. •

• • • •

Leaflet – highlighting human impact on lake and providing solutions, including pop out business card style phosphate free list of products Poster - highlighting human impact on lake and solutions Fridge magnets – free to give away with a reminder about using phosphate free products with some examples to try Video - highlighting impacts and solutions Love Your Lakes Book - Local school children were invited to donate poems and art work that expressed their love for our lakes. 43 beautiful entries were collected and allowed us to produce an exclusive ‘Love Your Lakes Book’.


making phosphates fun Fish art, Cumbria Conundrums, heart biscuits, hook-a-phosphate, Nurture trails… we did it all! To ensure the message of going phosphate free reached people on all levels, the campaign staff created various activities, games and competitions to add an element of fun into the education of the issue and solution. A variety of events were attended, allowing the campaign to reach a range of individuals and groups. This ranged from a music festival, to a craft market; from a traditional county show, to mountain marathons. We also worked with several local primary schools, delivering child friendly assemblies on the topic of loving our lakes. Secondary schools were able to use our case study notes to aid studies in GCSE Geography or Tourism. Furthermore, our resources complemented the Bassenthwaite Reflections learning kits which were distributed to every secondary school in Cumbria. Working with volunteers and community action groups, SusKes, groups took part in our campaigning and were given opportunities to take ownership and continue the legacy.

“happy people go to the lake and smiled” Ellie Barrow, age 9, Threlkeld School

achievements the results increasing awareness 81 people took part in a community survey which measured effectiveness of the campaign. The results were positive. Prior to the campaign, 40% of respondents had a poor level of understanding of issues surrounding the lakes’ water quality and how individuals could play a part in the solution. A staggering 98% of respondents had a good to excellent level of awareness after the campaign, with more than two thirds taking action to reduce their impact!

“extremely helpful and certainly influenced us” Honister House, Keswick

“all the staff I’ve dealt with are tremendously positive, practical and helpful. They really care about what they do and this is infectious and really encouraging” Briar Rigg, Keswick

changing behaviour Thanks to Love Your Lakes, 61% of the community to now use phosphate free products. Meaning 80% of the community in total, are now phosphate free.

thank you satisfied customers We are delighted that the community have been so pleased with the campaign. • • •

63% of the community think Love Your Lakes’ general delivery is good to excellent 53% loved our marketing materials 68% were very impressed with our ability to changing people’s behaviour and persuading them to switch to phosphate free products 71% think we were good to excellent at engaging the community and raising awareness

Too much phosphate from washing machine and dishwashing detergents is getting into Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite Lake causing blue-green algae to grow. This is bad news for wildlife, people and pets.

lovely lakes Between 2001 and 2010, water quality was improved. With thanks to Love Your Lakes and other projects from the Bassenthwaite Lake Restoration Project, phosphate levels in Bassenthwaite have been reduced by 59%. The graph below shows decling phosphorous levels in the lakes, including where we hope to be by 2015.

Ariel • Bio-D • Bold • Clear Spring by Faith in Nature • Daz • Dreft • Eco-Balls • Ecover Fairy • Lakeland Soap Nuts • Sonnett • Surf • Wave by Earth Friendly Products

a big thank you

Love Your Lakes is a Bassenthwaite Reflections project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and delivered by Nurture Lakeland. Nurture Lakeland is a registered charity No. 1130453

Special thanks go to the following for their support: • • • • • • • •

Bassenthwaite Reflections Environment Agency Forestry Commission Heritage Lottery Fund Keswick Tourism Association Northern Lakes Hospitality Providers the 226 tourism businesses who worked with us and took our messages on board and all the members of the community who got involved - thank you!

Love Your Lakes Report 2011  

by Amy McLoughlin, Nurture Lakeland