Raf’s Lake District Nature Frame

Through our passionate people series with have introduced a range of passionate English Lakes employees! Not only are they passionate about going the extra mile for our guests but the also have many other passions, interests and hobbies. Sometimes the work-life interests coincide and we find ourselves sharing these things with our guests. As a perfect example of this, we’d like to introduce Rafael Garea-Balado, who works as a maintenance engineer at Low Wood Bay.

Our own Dr Doolittle ... Raf with a Bluetit

Our own Dr Doolittle … Raf with a Bluetit

One of my hobbies outside of work is Photography especially landscape, Wildlife/Nature and Travel. This started at an early age spending a lot of time in the Lake District as a child. My craving for the outdoor lifestyle later led me to becoming a Snowboard Instructor and I travelled for many years to stunning countries all over the world, from Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Switzerland, France to name just a few. Along my travels my trusty point and shoot camera was always to hand to document and share my experiences by capturing many of the sights I had seen.

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A Walk on the Wild Side (Part 1)

Welcome to the Woods

I had cause to take a walk through the woods at The Wild Boar recently, led very proficiently by Charlie Lemm, the son of Andy and Michelle who manage The Wild Boar Inn. Having forgotten my wellies, I was relieved that the Inn had a choice of sizes to borrow – and we needed them! Continue reading

I Love Where I Live

The following blog is written by Maria Walker, Reservations Manager at English Lakes Support Office.

The picture I see each day is different depending on the weather and time of day. I ask myself on many occasions how people can take this area for granted?

Spectacular views from the English Lakes Offices. Left: View over Low Wood Bay of the Langdale Pikes over Lake Windermere. Right: Rolling fields behind the hotel and offices.

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Wildzone launches with a ‘Wear Red for Wildlife Week’

1263.Wear-red-for-wildlife-_2800_copyright-Jane-Hunt_2900_ Wildzone, a dynamic group of Cumbrian private sector businesses including English Lakes and public sector wildlife charities, trusts and organisations, formed to put responsible Cumbrian wildlife and nature experiences firmly on the British tourism map, has launched with a 22-day-long promotion ‘Wear Red For Wildlife’ promotion.

The Wildzone’s ‘Wear Red for Wildlife’ initiative (running from October 8 to 30) draws inspiration from some of Cumbria’s most iconic creatures, the endangered red squirrel and red deer, but also focuses on birds such as red-breasted merganser and red kite, the red leaves of autumn, red flora and red sunsets over Morecambe Bay.

To celebrate the forthcoming promotion, Wildzone members gathered at Storrs Hall to dress a tree, demonstrating the engagement with nature that is Wildzone’s ethos.  This builds on the belief that the best way to protect nature is to encourage people to engage with it in a responsible, yet exciting and interactive manner, to celebrate its many facets.

During ‘Wear Red for Wildlife’, the public is encouraged to wear red and go wild, taking part in a variety of interesting, fun, educational events and volunteering activities highlighted at www.wildzonecumbria.org

By wearing red, they can access special deals from various Wildzone members. Arriving at Lakes Aquarium wearing red between October 8 and 21, gives adults a £2 admissions discount if referring to Wildzone.  At the Leighton Moss café, a 10% discount can be had from October 8-30 if doing the same.  Those wearing a red top will get a 20% reduction on a meal at The Wild Boar Inn, near Bowness, plus a complimentary trail map, to help exploration of the inn’s wild woods.

The thrilling range of wildlife, to be found in Cumbrian coastal habitats stretching from Morecambe Bay to Silloth, in and around its lakes, on wild peaks and fells, in wonderfully wild rivers and tarns, wild forests and woodlands and on its limestone pavements and marshes, is all showcased at the new Wildzone website.

The website fosters an engagement with nature and wildlife by inviting nature watchers to upload details of their sightings, upload photographs of wildlife and take part in a variety of exciting events and opportunities to volunteer for action in the wild.

Current members of the Wildzone on the public sector side are Cumbria Wildlife Trust, the National Trust, RSPB, the Forestry Commission, Northern Red Squirrels, the Lake District National Park, the Western Lake District Tourism Partnership, South Copeland tourism, Nurture Lakeland, Natural England and the Environment Agency.

Private sector partners are Ullswater ‘Steamers’, English Lakes Hotels, the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway, Woodclose Park, Hill of Oaks and Waterfoot caravan parks, Lakes Aquarium, The Wordsworth Trust and The World of Beatrix Potter.

A competition at www.wildzonecumbria.org has a prize of a wild weekend at The Wild Boar Inn, near Bowness.  This 4* inn has wild woods to explore, as well as a smokehouse, which can put the taste of the wild on the plate.  The winner will bag a two-night stay, as well as an Ullswater ‘Steamers’ cruise and Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway trip.

Speaking on behalf of the Wildzone, Rachel Bell of Ullswater ‘Steamers’ says: “The Wildzone is unique, because it has brought public and private sector together, to work as partners.  We are all committed to showcasing the best that Cumbria has to offer in terms of wildlife and nature experiences and will be taking our offer out to the wildlife tourist in an exciting and creative manner.

“Whilst we have our founder members and our initial Wear Red for Wildlife promotion, we want other private sector businesses to come on board, so we can grow the group and enrich the wildlife tourism product offered.  We are also open to sponsorship offers, from the right sponsor, so we can increase marketing activity behind the Wildzone and make a tangible difference to wildlife tourism in Cumbria”.