Lake District Future – reflections 2 – What is the Purpose of the Lakes National Park?

It is a simple, but fundamental question – what is the Lake District National Park for, what should it focus on and why do we have it – a few quotes and facts that show that the question is far from simple:

Wordcloud of interviewees answers, 'What is the main purpose of the Lake District National Park'.

Wordcloud of interviewees answers, ‘What is the main purpose of the Lake District National Park’.

So what is the main purpose of the park?

Questionnaire respondents said that the main purposes of the National Park related to protection and natural features (conservation and preservation, 60%; nature and wildlife,53%; landscape, scenery and views, 45%) with a secondary set focusing on sustainable development (sustainable economy for residents, 33%; access for recreation and enjoyment, 31%).

The quotes below from some of the interviewees demonstrates the range of different focuses and why it is far from easy to find solutions which meet all these competing needs…

  •  it’s a place people can come to get a sense of wildness,  space, the views and the terrain, the altitude and the Lakes…
  • to protect and enhance its unique cultural landscape
  • It should be about enhancing the ecological value of that piece of land…
  • It’s primarily for people – people linking with… outdoor space and… enjoy[ing] that space

So what is the Lake District about for you? Protecting the cultural heritage or developing an exciting adventure capital; supporting local residents or drawing in visitors; for wildlife or for people…

Tomorrow… is the Lakes (and should it be), wild, natural, managed… re-wilded…?


About domhall

I have spent the last 15 years juggling careers in education publishing, expedition leadership and safety training. It has involved a careful balancing act of dreams of expedition travel, a love of climbing, walking and the outdoors and the the realities of life - and the later has definitely come off worse. I've run an adventure travel and expedition training business and lived in the sometimes sunny Lake District. Having taken a year out to complete an MSc in Environmental Technology I am now working for The Conservation Volunteers, working on engaging communities in their local green spaces.
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