Visitor Management measures by Lake District National Park

The Lake District National Park has written to local councils to provide an  update on the work that is being undertaken in the area of Visitor Management. This work is being led by the Cumbria Strategic Visitor Management Group (SVMG), which is chaired by the Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA). SVMG is a group comprised of key partners involved in the management of the Lake District, and includes agencies such as Westmorland & Furness Council, Cumberland Council, LDNPA, Forestry England, National Trust, Cumbria Tourism, Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, Cumbria Police, Cumbria Fire & Rescue, National Highways and the Lake District Mountain Rescue Teams.

As this is now the 4th year of this way of working, they have further refined their approach and have formed a number of sub groups as follows:

Motorhomes Working Group. A working group that is working to reduce the impact of Motorhomes on our communities by developing infrastructure and communication plans to focus on this specific group.

Visitor Safety. A working group focussed on reducing danger to visitors who are undertaking adventures in the Lake District. The group looks at both physical interventions (such as signage) and communication strategies.

Parking and Visitor Amenity Group. A working group that helps to coordinate the region’s approach to visitor parking, including 28 day “pop-up” car parks, toilets and seasonal bin provision.

Events & Film Production Working Group. A working group tasked with minimising the impact, and maximising the benefits of events and filming activities within Cumbria.

Cumbria Travel Disruption Group. A working group that is convened if and when major disruption is encountered on our transport network.

All of the above groups meet regularly and action issues that have been encountered. They escalate any issues to the SVMG meetings for resolution or funding approval. The LDNP and SVMG are working through their interventions for 2024, and have agreed a Tactical Action Plan containing 45 actions aimed at addressing possible visitor management challenges which include:

Sustainable Transport Interventions

Wasdale Shuttle Starting on 25th May and running from Ravenglass with a new link to Muncaster Castle and Gardens. Funding has been received from the GDF Community Fund, and additional funding may be secured from Cumberland Council (Bus Service Improvement Fund). More details can be found here

At the same time, and during the operation of the shuttle bus, the LDNP are exploring possible additional car parking at Nether Wasdale and different approaches to car parking at Wasdale Head. The LDNP are working with the Wasdale community to explore longer term options for the Valley.

Buttermere Shuttle Starting on 4th May and running weekends and bank holidays until the end of September. Also a new daily service on this route early in the morning and later in the afternoon, provided commercially by Stagecoach giving a full day in the valley for long days in the fells, or workers in local businesses.

Bus Service Improvements

There are lots of other bus service improvements this summer, some supported by the two unitary councils and some introduced by Stagecoach that will help more visitors and residents travel more sustainably, reducing traffic and parking issues. With the £2 bus fare these are proving popular. These include:

  • Half hourly buses between Keswick and Penrith on service X4/5 and later evening buses
  • Double the number of buses in Langdale – now hourly
  • Ullswater Hopper, developed by local group SITU, running to Lowther, Howtown and this year Aira Force and Keswick
  • Extra journeys on service 554 between Carlisle and Keswick and on service 555 between Keswick and Lancaster
  • Additional journeys for hospitality workers between Windermere and Barrow

More details can be found online at or pick up a copy of the Stagecoach Lakes Connection

Parking Enforcement

The LDNP will be continuing to work with both Councils and Cumbria Police to address the issue of poor parking, including the deployment of enforcement officers from early morning.

Area Action Plans

Where pressures are notably high, Area Action Plans are developed. This year, LDNPA is leading the delivery of an Area Action Plan for Wasdale. National Trust is leading an Area Action Plan for West Windermere (including Harrowslack) and Westmorland and Furness Council will be leading a plan for Langdale and Elterwater. All are being developed and delivered with the support of SVMG.

Visitor Management Officers and Support LDNPA have now appointed as “Safer Lakes Officers”, which were temporary, to permanent roles. They’re now known as Visitor Management Officers and patrol the park dealing with issues that are reported to LDNP, 7 days a week. Each week they’re interacting with 100s of groups with a particular focus on moving on damaging fly campers and clearing up reported waste that is found.

Community Litter Picking and Signage

The LDNP have supported a number of community groups with litter picking equipment (gloves, litter pickers etc.) and behaviour change signage.

Traffic Issues

The LDNP receive quite a lot of concerns and requests for information relating to roadworks and what is causing them. The “One Network” map that is available for our area at the following link details all current and planned road works, alongside who is doing them and when they are due to conclude – Causeway One Network. Many members of the community find this service really useful to find out what is going on and why.