Estée Lauder pledges money to help Windermere

  • In Science
  • 2022-11-09 06:11:11Z
  • By BBC
Windermere view
Windermere view  

A cosmetics company has pledged £100,000 to investigate water quality issues in England's largest lake.

The Estée Lauder Companies' money will explore what it said was "nature-based improvements" for Windermere.

Earlier this year there were concerns the lake could be "facing catastrophe" amid a rise in blue-green algae blooms.

Wastewater, ageing septic tanks, and run-off from farming land have all been been named as contributing factors in issues in water quality.

A Lancaster University survey which reported back in September found water quality was "not high" in all areas but that there was "no evidence" of pollution across the lake.

A blue-green algae bloom at Windermere in June 2022
A blue-green algae bloom at Windermere in June 2022  

Studies are being carried out by the Love Windermere programme involving several other groups - including the Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA) the Environment Agency, the Freshwater Biological Association, the Lake District Foundation, United Utilities, the National Trust, NFU, Cumbria LEP and the South Cumbria Rivers Trust.

A pilot project - funded by the Estée Lauder money - will look at whether water quality could be improved by removing excess nutrients from entering the water.

Among the ideas being considered are planting extra woodland, installing leaky dams which mimic the natural obstruction caused by trees and branches falling into rivers, and creating hay meadows.

'Not resolved quickly'

Richard Leafe, LDNPA chief executive, said: "While the lake currently meets water standards, we know it's not as good as it could be and phosphorus pollution in particular is an issue.

"While the issues facing Windermere aren't going to be resolved quickly, we know that by tackling them through a range of Love Windermere projects, all partners are committed to finding long-term solutions that will benefit the lake, its biodiversity and everyone who lives, works in and enjoys Windermere."

Estée Lauder Companies has pledged £500,000 over the next five years to fund pioneering nature restoration projects across UK National Parks.

Sue Fox, president of Estée Lauder Companies UK and Ireland, said she had visited Windermere this summer.

She added: "It was wonderful to meet local landowners who explained the principles of sustainable agriculture to me and I am excited to support the delivery of improved water quality and biodiversity in this area."

Follow BBC North East & Cumbria on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Send your story ideas to


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: Science