Estée Lauder pledges money to help Windermere

View of Windermere

Studies are underway to find out why Windermere is suffering from water quality issues

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

Money from the Estée Lauder Companies will explore what he called “nature-based improvements” for Windermere.

Earlier this year, it was feared the lake was ‘facing disaster’ amid an increase in blue-green algae blooms.

Sewage, aging septic systems and runoff from farmland have all been cited as contributing factors to water quality issues.

A Lancaster University survey which reported in September found water quality was ‘not high’ in all areas, but there was ‘no evidence’ of pollution across Lake.

A blue-green algae bloom in Windermere in June 2022

Blue-green algae blooms were confirmed in Windermere in June

Studies are being carried out by the Love Windermere program 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 money from Estée Lauder – will examine whether water quality could be improved by removing excess nutrients that enter the water.

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

“Not resolved quickly”

Richard Leafe, chief executive of LDNPA, said: “Although the lake currently meets water standards, we know that it is not as good as it could be and that phosphorus pollution in particular is a problem.

“While the issues facing Windermere will not be resolved quickly, we know that by addressing them through a series of Love Windermere projects, all partners are committed to finding long-term solutions that will benefit the lake, its biodiversity and to all who live, work and love Windermere.”

The Estée Lauder Companies has pledged £500,000 over the next five years to fund pioneering nature restoration projects in UK national parks.

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

She added: “It was wonderful to meet local landowners who explained to me the principles of sustainable agriculture and I am delighted to support the improvement of water quality and biodiversity in this region. .”

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