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Why Landscape Matters A Landscape Charter for Cumbria & the Lake District


This Landscape Charter sets out Friends of the Lake District’s position on the natural and cultural landscapes of Cumbria and the Lake District, and how we will protect and enhance them. Our goals are to: • Sustain the rich, diverse, living pattern of landscape, wildlife and culture that makes Cumbria such a unique place. • Actively encourage people of all ages and backgrounds, both local and visitors, to experience and enjoy the county’s amazing landscapes.

Landscape is our life support system; without it we could not exist Landscape is the setting we all live in, the surroundings that we see, touch, feel, smell, hear and enjoy. It is far more than just a view. Everyone depends on landscape for food, water and clean air along with many other necessities. A beautiful and diverse landscape, with a wealth of wildlife and human history inspires and enriches our lives. Our landscapes provide a ‘natural health service’ for body and mind, of benefit to local people and visitors alike. This is why it is so important to care for the rich and varied landscapes we have here in Cumbria. Our landscapes are not pristine wilderness; they have been evolving since the last Ice Age and are shaped by both nature and people. Each part of Cumbria has its own unique landscape character: the high fells of the Lake District, the limestone pavements of the Westmorland Dales, the diverse woodlands of Arnside and Silverdale and the lush farmland of the Solway Plain are just a few examples of the vibrant landscapes in our county. For centuries people have enjoyed the beauty of the Cumbrian landscape and its mountains, woodlands, lakes, rivers, coast, fells and dales. Cumbria was the birthplace of the conservation movement, recognising that landscape has intrinsic value and that everyone has a right to appreciate and enjoy it. Friends of the Lake District is the descendant of those conservation pioneers. We undertake landscape conservation in a holistic way, incorporating both natural and cultural heritage into our work.


 Ancient Monuments  Sites of Special Scientific Interest  St Bees Heritage Coast World Heritage Sites  National Parks in Cumbria  Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) Cumbria

Cumbria’s landscapes are special 56% of Cumbria’s landscapes are protected for their beauty. The county is home to two National Parks, three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a Heritage Coast. 21% of Cumbria is protected for its wildlife value as Sites of Special Scientific Interest. 36% of Cumbria is protected by World Heritage Site status including the newly designated English Lake District along with nationally important Scheduled Ancient Monuments. 64% of Cumbria has some form of designation, making it one of the most protected counties in England. The undesignated 36% of Cumbria is important as it plays a vital role in supporting and enhancing those areas which are protected such as the Lake District. Cumbria also contains 31% of England’s common land, and provides drinking water for over 1 million households in the North West.

Contains OS data © Crown copyright and database right 2017


We campaign for a healthy, vibrant landscape 1

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1 A beautiful and diverse landscape rich in wildlife and heritage for everyone to enjoy 2 Expanding native woodland 3 Clean and tranquil lakes 4 Traditional landscape skills such as walling and hedging are passed on to future generations 5 Small scale quarrying for local building stone 6 Small scale renewable energy generation such as household or farm solar panels

7 Sustainable transport and well maintained paths and bridleways 8 Affordable housing for local people 9 Services that the landscape provides such as flood mitigation, wildlife habitats and water supply are recognised and paid for j Small scale units with high speed broadband for local businesses k Sympathetic treatment of heritage sites


Without us, Cumbria’s landscapes would be very different 1 6 5 2

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1 A degraded and damaged landscape with loss of beauty, wildlife and heritage 2 Coniferous forestry blocks and loss of native woodland 3 Power boating on lakes, pollution of watercourses 4 Dilapidation and loss of dry stone walls and other landscape features to future generations 5 Large scale quarrying in a national park 6 Large scale wind farm on a mountain ridge in a national park

7 Unsustainable transport 8 Open market housing development pricing out local people 9 Erosion of fellside and flood damage; loss of wildlife due to poor land management j Industrial development in open countryside, pylons in a national park k Large scale tourist development in open countryside


Friends of the Lake District wants

landscapes for all

We want a living, working, wildlife friendly and culturally rich landscape. We will work with others to ensure our landscape retains its best features, through planning advice make sure that development fits within the landscape and as much past damage is repaired as possible. We know the landscape is not static, but is a living, working environment which must adapt to the 21st Century.

We want local people and visitors to enjoy Cumbria’s landscape. We will promote quiet enjoyment and use of our fells, crags, woodlands, rivers and lakes for people of all abilities and all backgrounds, whether local or visitor.

We want inspiring landscape educators. We will teach the teachers who promote the county’s landscapes to both adults and children.

We want communities that actively embrace the landscape in their plans and projects. We will help local communities to develop plans for the conservation of their landscapes and the development of appropriate and sustainable new activities that will increase local prosperity.

We want to encourage the retention and development of local landscape skills. We will increase the number of people involved in landscape management whether as worker or volunteer, especially those using traditional land management techniques such as drystone walling, hedging and coppicing.

We want acknowledgement of the importance of the 31% of England’s common land resource that Cumbria holds. We will continue to engage with commoners and common owners to promote sustainable management of common land.

We want everyone to have the right to the beauty of Cumbria’s landscapes. We will push for beauty to be an intrinsic part of decisions, plans and policies which affect the landscape.

Landscape provides significant health benefits • Research demonstrates that, compared to staying indoors, there are significant benefits of walking outdoors in a pleasant environment for improving self-esteem, managing depression and reducing tension. • Studies show that every £1 spent on establishing healthy walking schemes could save the NHS £7.18 in the cost of treating conditions such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes.


Friends of the Lake District wants

landscape resilience

We want a Cumbrian landscape resilient in the face of a changing climate. We will work with partners locally and nationally to research climate change impacts on the Cumbrian landscape and look for practical solutions to issues such as flood risk, erosion, carbon sequestration and changing agricultural methods.

We want payments to land managers for the natural capital that they provide. We will work with Government, partners and local people to promote landscape management which protects and supports those valuable goods and services that the landscape provides. We will promote targeted payments for provision of these currently non-market services e.g. health benefits, flood reduction, carbon storage, drinking water, wildlife and better air quality.

We want local and National Government policies that actually work for Cumbria’s landscapes and the people that live, work and play within them. We will work with Government to influence the development of environmental, agricultural and planning policies that recognise the needs of uplands and rural areas, based on local design and local delivery. We will work with Cumbria’s Local Planning Authorities to develop local plans which actively promote landscape conservation and enhancement.

We want quiet and tranquil protected landscapes. We will promote Dark Skies and support visitor activities that enhance the quiet enjoyment of the landscape. We will help councils to develop local plan policies to reduce light and noise pollution.

We want landscape value to be recognised in law as an essential component of people’s surroundings, and as an expression of the diversity of shared cultural and natural heritage. We will lobby government decision makers to enact legislation that will provide landscapes with the same status that wildlife, water and soil have in law.

Climate change and landscapes Appropriate landscape management can help to alleviate some of the impacts of climate change, for example by • Storage and retention of flood water to reduce peak flooding downstream; • Improving air quality through woodland management and planting; • Reducing soil erosion; using vegetation to stabilise soils that are vulnerable to increasing erosion; • Carbon storage and sequestration; storing carbon in soils and vegetation.


Our commitment to Cumbria Friends of the Lake District stands firm in our commitment to our mission and to the millions who care about all of Cumbria’s countryside. Our aim is to: • Care for the scenic beauty, rich wildlife and historic heritage of our county’s landscapes; • Ensure Cumbria's landscapes are passed on to future generations in as good or better condition than they are now; • Encourage people to appreciate our special county – everyone has a right to enjoy Cumbria’s magnificent landscapes.

Your commitment Join thousands of others by becoming a voice for Cumbria’s landscape through membership of Friends of the Lake District.

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Photo credit: Chris Himsworth

For more information visit our website

www.friendsofthelakedistrict.org.uk Friends of the Lake District Murley Moss, Oxenholme Road, Kendal, Cumbria LA9 7SS 01539 720788 | info@fld.org.uk

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Friends of the Lake District is also the Cumbria branch for CPRE

Profile for Friends of the Lake District

Why Landscape Matters  

As part of our Why Landscape Matters campaign, we have published Why Landscape Matters; a Landscape Charter for Cumbria and the Lake Distric...

Why Landscape Matters  

As part of our Why Landscape Matters campaign, we have published Why Landscape Matters; a Landscape Charter for Cumbria and the Lake Distric...

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