A first time Visitors guide to the Lake District
RESPECT – PROTECT – ENJOY
Here at Keswick Climbing Wall and Newlands Adventure Centre we know just how lucky we are to be based in one of the most beautiful areas in the world, after all they don’t give out World Heritage stamps for nothing! However due to international travel restrictions we are seeing a huge influx of people visiting the Lake District for the first time. Unfortunately some of these first time visitors do not have an understanding of the Countryside Code and we want to provide with as much information as possible on how to keep the Lake District looking as beautiful as it does so that everyone can carry on enjoying this amazing place.
THE COUNTRYSIDE CODE
Respect other people
- Consider the local community and other people enjoying the outdoors
- Park carefully so access to gateways and driveways are clear
- Leave gates and property as you find them
- Follow paths but give way to others where it’s narrow
Protect the natural environment
- Leave no trace of your visit, take all your litter home
- Don’t have BBQs or fires
- Keep dogs under effective control
- Dog poo – bag it and bin it
Enjoy the outdoors
- Plan ahead, check what facilities are open, be prepared
- Follow advice and local signs and obey social distancing measures
This has been one of the biggest issues facing the area during the lift of lockdown, the amount of litter appearing from the lake-shores to the mountain tops is staggering, and we are not just talking about an empty crisp packet or an empty bottle of coke. From disposable BBQ’s to camping chairs, takeaway boxes to toiletries, all these and more can be found, spread across some of the most beautiful areas in the Lake District. Sadly, it is mainly up to us locals to clear up the mess as the National Park Wardens not on furlough are inundated.
If you wish to come to Lakes for a day trip, then please do! If you wish to have a picnic by the Lake, it’s a fantastic idea! However, you must take every piece of litter with you, as you may have no idea how much damage that one little piece of rubbish can cause, all it takes is for it to be blown into a farmer’s field and new born lamb to eat it. I’m sure you can work out how that would end.
This is just one of many examples of how a single piece of litter can make a lasting damage to our area and the local people’s livelihood. There are plenty of bins placed across the towns which are more than accessible for everyone. With being an Award winning Eco centre we would also strongly encourage that you please recycle all your rubbish as well. There are several recycle bins based in Keswick and across the Lakes, however if you have recycling at home please take it back with you!
Speaking on the topic of finding bins, since when has a branch of a tree been classed as a dog poop bin? I only type this as a staggering amount of dog poop bag trees have been growing in the lake recently and I know that that no one wants to see this. Please throw your dog waste in the bin. Its smell can attracted animals and they will try eating the bag, so please don’t be that kind of person who thinks it doesn’t matter, because it really does.
Over the past couple of weeks the lakes have seen a staggering 40% increase in visitors to the area compared to this time last year! And with the restaurant and majority of shops still not open, this only means one thing, the lakes and fell are filling up with keen adventurers from across the country and this is great to see! We love the fact the Lakes are appreciate and people really love the area in which we are blessed to be based at! However as happy as we are, we are noticing a few issues occurring which we just wish to bring up and remind first time visitors as well as Lake District professionals!
Firstly, please consider the local community and other people enjoying the outdoors. If you’re having a picnic by the lake leave some room for others to enjoy the area and also let’s keep that music you are wanting to play down low; not everyone loves Ed Sheeran as much as you do! Respect that people come to the lakes for the peace and tranquility.
Next up, please park your vehicles carefully so access to gateways and driveways are clear, a fast track to annoying a local farmer is to park in front of his gate where livestock is, meaning he cannot carry on with his work. Sometimes won’t take to lightly to you stopping them from feeding their sheep…
Please check when you have parked you at not stopping other people get on with their day to day life here! If you have to pay for parking please do so, and please do not park on the side of busy roads and on blind corners, there is a dangerously fast increase in pedestrian accidents on the road due to this, please only use the appropriate areas to park your vehicles.
If you are planning on tackling some of the Lakes great peaks over the coming weeks then please plan ahead, firstly this is not like a stroll through your local park, some of the routes up our fantastic mountains require a set amount of fitness and skill. As well as that it may involve some scrambling or very steep terrain. Not doing your research and planning beforehand can becoming a very costly thing.
The weather in the Lake District is extremely unpredictable and is very famous for hosting all four seasons in the same day! So even if the sun is shining at the base of Helvellyn, it doesn’t mean it’s warmer at the top. Waterproofs are an essential to bring on all walks. Please wear appropriate footwear! Something your ankle cannot roll in! Ankle support is key on a walk, the amount of people wearing Crocs or Flip Flops on the summit of Catbells is staggering!
There has been a rise recently in people having to call out our Mountain Rescue Team. Their job is already 10x harder due to this pandemic so by just doing a simple bit of route planning, weather checking and bring the correct walking gear etc can save hours of manual work from the volunteer Rescue Team and also it won’t ruin your holiday!