Lake District Foundation

The Lake District Foundation works across the Lake District National Park, the largest National Park in England, famous around the world for its spectacular natural landscapes. The Foundation provides support and funding for local charities, community groups and projects that care for the area’s landscape, environment and cultural heritage.

The Foundation approached the Swire Charitable Trust on behalf of Fix the Fells an ambitious partnership project dedicated to restoring and maintaining the network of footpaths across the Fells. Every year the paths are damaged by footfall and extreme weather events including floods and droughts. If a section of path becomes impassable walkers will naturally skirt around it, but this causes further erosion in nearby areas and can endanger fragile habitats and rare plant species.

The intrepid volunteers and rangers at Fix the Fells have already restored over two hundred footpaths but hundreds more require monitoring, restoration and repair. The project uses natural materials such as sheep fleece and local stone as well as ancient, low-impact soil inversion techniques dating back to Roman times. Local helicopter operators help to transport heavy materials to remote areas high up in the Fells. Restoring remote, steep footpaths is physically demanding and potentially hazardous work, and the people who carry it out are highly skilled and very hardy.

In August 2020, the Swire Charitable Trust awarded a grant of £10,000 to the Lake District Foundation towards the Fix the Fells’ work making the Lake District’s footpaths safer for walkers, preventing further erosion and protecting the area’s most vulnerable ecosystems.

Amount awarded:£10,000
Date awarded:August 2020
Region:North West England
Length of Award:12 Months