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27 May 2022
Dear Supporter,     

Welcome to our latest Postcard From the Lakes. It's the Great Cumbrian Litter Pick today and tomorrow, so thank you to all the fabulous volunteers going out this weekend to clean up our beautiful county. And you don't need to join an organised litter pick - you could just go out and do one wherever you are! Don't forget to send us some pictures!

In terms of our policy work there's lots to read about this week around the Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill, the Coal Mine, and planning issues, and we're pleased to see some double yellow lines around the Catbells area to ease congestion there.

Our volunteers have been hard at work plug planting flowers in the hay meadow at High Borrowdale and doing tree work on a first visit to our new land near Broughton in Furness last week.

And there's just over a month to enter your best Lakeland photos in our Photo Competition this year - winning entries will feature in our calendar and cards available later in the year.
 
With very best wishes,

Douglas Chalmers, Chief Executive

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The Great Cumbrian Litter Pick 27-28 May
Today and tomorrow hundreds of volunteers will be getting together to take part in our annual Great Cumbrian Litter Pick, bringing Cumbrian communities together to help clean up our county. A big thanks to everyone involved for all their hard work - and it's not too late to do your own litter pick too! Send us your photos on social media or by email to kay-andrews@fld.org.uk .

See our Great Cumbrian Litter Pick page for info about litter picks in your area.
Thanks to our sponsors EOCA and The North Face Explore Fund.
Charges change for second homes
The Queen's Speech introduced the Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill, which proposes changes to planning policy, including provision for council tax charges to be increased by up to 100% on dwellings occupied only periodically, such as second homes. We welcome this positive move, but it isn’t enough. This is a complex issue and it will take more than additional charges to put our communities on the right footing. Read more>
Cumbria Coal Mine update
Secretary of State for Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Local Government Michael Gove is still considering whether or not to give permission to the West Cumbria Coal Mine near Whitehaven. In a flurry of articles over the last month, steel bosses have said that there is no market for the coal in the UK because the sulphur content is too high, and Tata Steel has already stopped buying coal from Russia without needing Cumbrian coal. Steel making in Europe is fast moving towards new, lower carbon steel making methods using hydrogen instead of coal. It would seem that even if given permission the mine would be redundant within a couple of years of it opening, would ship the majority of its coal outside of Europe (negating the arguments of not needing to ship coal), and would significantly contribute to carbon emissions during the climate emergency. We hope that Gove takes all the negative factors into account and does not give the go-ahead to the mine.
In this Channel 4 News news clip key national steel industry figures completely dismiss the “need argument” for domestic coal.

Read more:
Cumbria coalmine redundant before it even opens say campaigners
Ex-British Steel boss speaks against West Cumbria coal mine
This is a useful summary by Becky Willis.
Redevelopment of Hartside Café
This application has now been withdrawn. While we supported the reinstatement of a café at the site, we did not support the larger proposals for retail, hotel, exhibition space and a formal carpark. We hope any new proposal will be amended to reflect the concerns raised by us and others. Read more>
DARK SKIES CUMBRIA

Star Count results are live!
Back in February, thousands of you took part in CPRE's Star Count 2022 and the results are now in! We can reveal star gazers are enjoying their best view of the night sky since our annual Star Count began in 2011.
Plug Planting #2 at High Borrowdale Hay Meadows
In session two of plug planting our hay meadows at High Borrowdale this week we've been adding plants including melancholy thistle and wood cranesbill. Although all the seed was put in when we restored them, some are a bit reluctant to come through! So we are planting plug plants, to add diversity and colour and to help the pollinators and insects.  Read more>
Double yellow lines to reduce congestion near Catbells
Good news - Double yellow lines to reduce congestion on busy Lake District route Keswick to Catbells. We eagerly await announcements of public transport to serve Catbells this summer, which we expect shortly.
Read more>
Want to know when planning documents are being prepared for the National Park?
The Lake District National Park Authority is inviting people to sign up to be contacted directly when new local plan documents are being prepared in the Park. Local plan documents identify where new development will go and set policies against which planning applications will be judged. 
If you’d like to be made aware when new local plan documents are being produced either just for general awareness or because you’d like the opportunity to have your say at an early stage, when there is most chance to influence change, you can sign up here>
Photography Competition 2022
We are delighted to open our photography competition once again this year and can't wait to see your images of the stunning Lake District and Cumbrian landscapes.
We welcome and encourage images from all different times months and weathers. If you have any images of Cumbria that you think are particularly special please do send them in. Entries close on 30th June 2022. Read more>
Red Squirrels in bluebells in the Eden Valley
Our patron Terry Abraham posted this lovely video of Red squirrels in bluebells in the Eden Valley this week. Watch on twitter>
Work begins to fix remote paths across Lake District  
Work is underway to repair paths and prevent damage to the landscape on remote paths in the Lake District World Heritage Site by a team of skilled multi-agency rangers and volunteers. The Fix the Fells path repair work season begins for 2022 with higher visitor numbers and extreme weather speeding up erosion on upland paths in the Lake District.
Work will be carried out all across the World Heritage Site this year, including paths at Coniston Old Man, Helvellyn and Scafell Pike.  Work is also planned on the popular Coast to Coast route between Borrowdale and Grasmere.  
Read more>
The Prehistory of Shap and the Surrounding Area
A FREE online zoom talk exploring the ancient monuments of Shap, noted throughout history. Many have been destroyed, and the few that remain bestow an enduring mystery to the early history of the area.
Wednesday 1st June 3pm.
Book here>

Photo: In 1607,  William Camden wrote of the village of Shap in his Britannia; “there be huge stones in forme of Pyramides, some 9 foote high and fourteene foot thicke, ranged directly as it were in a rowe for a mile in length".
A Beautiful Day in 'Old Lakeland'
We had a beautiful day for our first ever workparty at our newest property, Middle Bleansley, near Broughton in Furness last week. This 16 ha site is half native woodland and half grazing land, currently used by a nearby Herdwick farmer. We were joined by 11 employees of Trans Pennine, all from the Manchester Office, as part of their one day a year volunteering allowance. We were working in the large area of native woodland which slopes up from the valley floor up the fellside and opens up to a lovely open area on the top with views across the Duddon and patches of bluebells and billberry.
Read more>
Read more from the Land Manager's Diary here>
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Visiting the National Park

Visitors to the Lake District are being warned to “come prepared” as we head into May. The weather can be very changeable so please come prepared. It’s still wintery on the high fell tops and the lakes and tarns may look inviting but are still very cold – make sure you have the right equipment and skills you need and keep an eye on the weather.

The national park authority updates its website each day to give an indication of what areas of the park are likely to be busy and offer alternative car parking options where possible. Make sure that you park only within marked bays to ensure that emergency service vehicles can access narrow roads if required. Parking information and other information to help you plan your visit can be found here: www.lakedistrict.gov.uk/visiting/plan-your-visit
 

Stay safe

Respect, protect, enjoy! Follow the countryside code

Check how the coronavirus rules affect the Lake District National Park

For all the latest information on planning your visit see the National Park's website:   https://www.lakedistrict.gov.uk/visiting/plan-your-visit
Be winter Weather Wise: lakedistrict.gov.org/kind
Read the latest Government guidance

Let's keep in touch

We aim to keep you updated via this fortnightly postcard, our website, Facebook and Twitter. Please don't hesitate to contact us; it will be nice to hear from you. If there is anything you would like to share or see added to this fortnightly news update then do please let us know: info@fld.org.uk.

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